Cross-lagged Relationships Between Substance Use and Intimate Partner Violence Among a Sample of Young Adult Women

Published in: Journal of Studies on Alcohol, v. 66, no. 1, Jan. 2005, p. 139-148

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Steven Martino, Rebecca L. Collins, Phyllis L. Ellickson

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OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to examine the longitudinal relationship between substance use and intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration among a sample of young adult women. METHOD: A sample of 509 women who participated in Waves 8 (age 23) and 9 (age 29) of a multiyear panel study and who indicated they were living with a partner or spouse at both time points provided the data for this investigation. Path analysis was used to ex-amine the cross-lagged relationships between women's substance use and IPV victimization and perpetration over the two waves of data. RESULTS: Although strong within- and across-time associations between substance use and IPV victimization and perpetration were found at the bivariate level, substance use did not predict women's subsequent IPV victimization or perpetration in the cross-lagged model. Instead, victims of IPV at age 23 were found to be at an increased risk for later heavy drinking. Perpetrators of IPV at age 23 were less likely than nonperpetrators to report heavy drinking at age 29. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that substance use does not increase women's long-term risk of experiencing or perpetrating IPV but that victimization by IPV puts women at risk for subsequent heavy drinking.

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