The Influence of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence Among Black Men: The Moderating Role of Alcohol Use

J Interpers Violence. 2022 Oct;37(19-20):NP17248-NP17275. doi: 10.1177/08862605211027997. Epub 2021 Jun 30.


This study examined the moderating role of alcohol use on the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration among Black men in the United States. We conducted bivariate and logistic regression analyses using data from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Bivariate results revealed significant relationships between eight of the 10 ACE factors physical neglect; emotional, physical and sexual abuse; witnessing a mother being abused; and having a parent guardian with an alcohol and drug problem and who was incarcerated and IPV perpetration. Similarly, examination of the relationship between ACEs and alcohol use in adulthood also revealed significant associations, with the exception of exposure to emotional neglect, emotional and sexual abuse, and witnessing a mother being abused. Findings from the logistic regression models revealed that alcohol use significantly moderated the relationship between ACEs and IPV perpetration, but only for men exposed to 1, 2, and ≥4 adversities in childhood. However, alcohol use appeared to exacerbate the relationship between ACEs and IPV perpetration for men without childhood adversity. Implications for practice, policy, and areas for further research are discussed.

Keywords: Black men; adverse childhood experiences; alcohol use; intimate partner violence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse* / psychology
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / psychology
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • United States / epidemiology