Children, Parental Alcohol Consumption, and Intimate Partner Violence: A Multicountry Analysis by Perpetration Versus Victimization and Sex

J Interpers Violence. 2021 Jun;36(11-12):5608-5634. doi: 10.1177/0886260518804182. Epub 2018 Oct 17.


Both living with children and alcohol consumption are positively associated with intimate partner violence (IPV). We assessed their combined relationship with physical IPV (P-IPV) victimization and perpetration, and explored possible moderating roles of sex and culture. Data included 15 surveys of 13,716 men and 17,832 women in 14 countries from the GENACIS (Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: An International Study) collaboration. P-IPV was measured as victim of physical aggression by an intimate partner (Vic-Only), perpetrator of physical aggression toward a partner (Perp-Only), or both victim and perpetrator (i.e., bidirectional) (Bi-Dir). Participants reported whether they lived with children below 18 years of age, whether the participant was a drinker/abstainer, and, among drinkers, usual frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed. Multilevel multinomial logistic regression, controlling for age and nesting of data within countries, indicated that Vic-Only, Perp-Only, and Bi-Dir (compared with no P-IPV) were positively associated with living with children, being a drinker, and quantity/frequency of drinking among drinkers (especially higher quantity). The positive association of P-IPV with living with children and being a drinker was evident within most countries. Significant interactions with sex were found, with (a) living with children more strongly associated with Perp-Only for men and Vic-Only for women, and (b) Perp-Only and Bi-Dir more strongly associated with being a drinker for men but with quantity consumed for women. Also, alcohol consumption was more strongly related to Perp-Only and Bi-Dir than with Vic-Only. In conclusion, higher risk of P-IPV with alcohol consumption is compounded when living with children-putting children who live with drinkers, especially drinkers who consume large amounts per occasion, at special risk of exposure to P-IPV. This is an important area for future research and prevention.

Keywords: alcohol and drugs; anything related to domestic violence; children exposed to domestic violence; cultural contexts; domestic violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Bullying*
  • Child
  • Crime Victims*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence*
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Risk Factors