Intimate partner violence among adults: The role of illicit drug use
Smith, Philip H.
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation included three studies on the topic of illicit drug use and intimate partner violence (IPV). Previous research on this topic has been mostly limited to cross-sectional study designs using community and treatment samples. In Study 1, nationally representative data were used to examine the associations between specific types of substance use disorders and IPV. The strongest associations were found for cocaine and alcohol use disorders. This study provided evidence that there may be differences in the association between illicit drug use and IPV based on the specific drug type. In Study 2, nationally representative data were again used to examine the association between marijuana withdrawal and IPV. It was found that marijuana withdrawal was associated with IPV among those with a history of aggression. Marijuana withdrawal may at least partially explain previously found associations between marijuana use and IPV. In Study 3, data were examined from a longitudinal community sample of newly married couples. Predictive associations were tested between frequency of marijuana use and frequency of IPV perpetration over the first 9 years of marriage, adjusting for sociodemographic variables and alcohol dependence. This study also examined moderation by antisocial behaviors, IPV perpetration during the year prior to marriage, and the partners' marijuana use. It was found that marijuana use predicted IPV perpetration among husbands who reported IPV during the year prior to marriage, but scored low on antisocial behaviors. It was also found that discordant marijuana use predicted IPV perpetration for both husbands and wives. This study provided evidence that there may be specific sub-groups of couples for whom marijuana use longitudinally predicts IPV. Overall, these 3 studies further provided evidence that illicit drug use, particularly cocaine and marijuana use may be linked to IPV. Further research is needed to examine mechanisms underlying these associations.