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

J Trauma Stress. 2001 Oct;14(4):717-32. doi: 10.1023/A:1013038021175.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Arousal*
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Warfare*