Acute alcohol use temporally increases the odds of male perpetrated dating violence: a 90-day diary analysis

Addict Behav. 2014 Jan;39(1):365-8. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.10.025. Epub 2013 Oct 21.


Objective: Despite an extensive theoretical literature on acute alcohol intoxication likely increasing the odds of aggression between intimate partners, there have been few temporal studies on the relation between alcohol use and increased odds of intimate partner violence (IPV). Moreover, the literature on the temporal relation between marijuana use and IPV is in its infancy. The existing temporal research has yet to examine in the same study the three distinct types of IPV that occur most often between partners: physical, psychological, and sexual. Thus, the present study examined the temporal relationship between acute alcohol use, marijuana use, and male perpetrated physical, psychological, and sexual dating violence.

Method: College men who had consumed alcohol in the previous month and were in a current dating relationship participated (N=67). Men completed daily surveys that assessed their alcohol use, marijuana use, and violence perpetration (psychological, physical, and sexual) for up to 90 consecutive days.

Results: On any alcohol use days, heavy alcohol use days (5 or more standard drinks), and as the number of drinks increased on a given day, the odds of physical and sexual aggression perpetration increased. The odds of psychological aggression increased on heavy alcohol use days only. Marijuana use days did not increase the odds of any type of aggression.

Conclusions: These findings contribute to a growing body of research on the temporal relation between acute alcohol use and IPV perpetration among college men. Combined with previous research, our findings suggest that dating violence intervention and prevention programs should target reductions in alcohol use.

Keywords: Aggression; Alcohol; Dating violence; Marijuana.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult