Relationships among alcohol use, hyperarousal, and marital abuse and violence in Vietnam veterans

Authors

  • Vincent W. Savarese,

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
    Current affiliation:
    1. Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. Pennsylvania
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  • Michael K. Suvak,

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Lynda A. King,

    Corresponding author
    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
    • VA Boston Healthcare System (116B-3), 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130
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  • Daniel W. King

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Alcohol use (frequency and quantity) and the hyperarousal feature of PTSD were examined in relation to male-perpetrated marital abuse and violence using data from 376 couples who participated in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Veteran's self-reported hyperarousal was significantly associated with partner's report of physical violence and psychological abuse toward her. Differential relationships were found between veteran's self-reported drinking frequency and drinking quantity and the outcomes; of the two components, only the average quantity consumed per occasion was independently related to husband-to-wife violence. Moreover, a complex interaction emerged between hyperarousal and the two dimensions of alcohol consumption in predicting violence, with the relationship between hyperarousal and violence varying as a function of both drinking frequency and drinking quantity.

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