Thirty years of research show alcohol to be a cause of intimate partner violence: Future research needs to identify who to treat and how to treat them

Drug Alcohol Rev. 2017 Jan;36(1):7-9. doi: 10.1111/dar.12434. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


Research over the past 30 years has demonstrated that excessive alcohol use meets all of the epidemiological criteria for causality. While neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause, excessive alcohol use does contribute to the occurrence of partner violence and that contribution is approximately equal to other contributing causes such as gender roles, anger and marital functioning. Current theories of how excessive drinking results in partner violence provide a potentially valuable framework with respect to who should be targeted for interventions with respect to alcohol-related partner violence and what those interventions should address.

Keywords: alcohol; intimate partner violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anger
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / prevention & control
  • Intimate Partner Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Risk Factors