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Keywords:

  • Alcohol;
  • drinking contexts;
  • intimate partner violence

Abstract

Aims

To quantify two specific aspects of drinking in various venues (past-year frequency of drinking in each venue and volume consumed per venue) and assess their relationships with intimate partner violence.

Design, setting and participants

A geographic sample of married or cohabiting couples residing in 50 medium-to-large cities in California, USA (n = 1585 couples) was obtained. Cross-sectional survey data were collected via confidential telephone interviews.

Measurements

Each partner in the couple provided information about past-year male-to-female and female-to-male intimate partner violence (IPV), drinking contexts and psychosocial and demographic factors. Frequency of drinking in six contexts and volume consumed in those contexts were used in censored Tobit models to evaluate associations between IPV and male and female drinking contexts.

Findings

Risks for IPV differed among drinking contexts and were sometimes related to heavier volumes consumed. In fully adjusted models, male partners' frequency of drinking at parties at another's home {β [standard error (SE) 0.130 (0.060]; P = 0.030} was associated with risk for male-to-female IPV and frequency of drinking during quiet evenings at home was associated with risk for female-to-male IPV [β (SE) 0.017 (0.008); P = 0.033]. Female partners' frequency of drinking with friends at home [β (SE) −0.080 (0.037); P = 0.030] was associated with decreased male-to-female IPV, but volume consumed was associated with increased risk [β (SE) 0.049 (0.024); P = 0.044].

Conclusions

The social context in which drinking occurs appears to play a role in violence against partners, with male violence being linked to drinking away from home and female violence being linked to drinking at home.