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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Using data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examined intimate partner violence IPV and drinking partnerships in young adults in male-female dating, cohabitating, and married relationships. Overall, there were no ificant main effect differences across relationship type and clusters. The type of relationship and the type of drinking partnership interacted with contexts examined i. Given the severity of IPV in couple relationships, additional empirical attention to drinking partnerships is warranted.

Violence in intimate relationships is an important social problem affecting many young adults. Alcohol consumption Windle, and violence are highest during young adulthood with violence peaking between 21 and 29 Perkins, In addition, young adults may be in different types of intimate relationships that may have varying levels of IPV.

Thus, when examining rates of IPV, it is important to take into consideration the age of the individuals, as well as characteristics of the intimate relationship e. Researchers have started to understand the risk factors, characteristics, and correlates of alcohol and IPV, but there are still many gaps as well as contradictory findings in the literature. First, understanding the association of IPV and alcohol use in young adults needs further examination. Second, measurement of IPV is especially important due to the pervasiveness of partner violence.

Studies that include reports by both partners are better able to distinguish aspects of violence that are present e. Thus, couple data provide a dual perspective in the examination of the extent to which drinking and violence are related in young adult romantic relationships. The current study addresses these limitations by examining IPV in terms of gender, level of violence minor vs. The current study uses a sample of young adult couples assessed in —, with two heterosexual members, between the ages of 18 and The type of relationship dating, cohabitating, married and the type of drinking partnership discrepant, congruent; light, heavy provide important contexts for understanding violence.

Thus, the goal of this study is to understand the associations between drinking and IPV occurrences in young adult heterosexual romantic relationships from varying perspectives. Research has identified three conceptual models that may explain the association between alcohol use and IPV. For example, antisocial personality characteristics may contribute to the association between alcohol and violence. These conflicts may then escalate to violence. For example, an individual with frontal lobe impairment may have less ability to control emotional expression and may also lack appreciation for the impact of violent behavior.

Excessive and problem drinking are related to an increased risk of perpetration and victimization of violence in intimate relationships Caetano et al. Caetano et al. Thus, higher, above threshold, quantities and frequencies of alcohol consumption are associated with IPV rather than alcohol consumption itself. These models examine varying processes to explain the association between drinking and IPV occurrence.

This model subsumes the indirect effects and the proximal effects models. Alcohol misuse behaviors that create conflicts indirect effects and that reflect heavy drinking proximal effects of one or both partners are considered in the drinking partnerships model.

Roberts and Leonard used cluster analyses to determine mutually exclusive groupings to identify drinking partnerships in married heterosexual couples. Using a similar approach, Leadley et al. Limited to married and cohabitating couples only, their study found female-to-male and male-to-female perpetration and victimization were predicted by different combinations of alcohol use within couples.

The couples who were discrepantly drinking e. The discrepant drinking couples were 3. Beyond drinking partnerships of married couples, the present study extends this framework to examine the association between alcohol use and IPV among dating, cohabiting, and married heterosexual couples. Level of commitment is a factor that may affect violence in some relationships as compared to other relationships.

It has been suggested that relationships that are defined as more meaningful and serious e. When comparing rates of IPV, length of the relationship is important: The longer an individual has been in a relationship, the more likely are acts of violence. Thus, cohabitating and married individuals may be more likely to experience violence as compared to dating couples because: a they are older and at an age where violence is more likely to occur Perkins, , b they have been in relationships of longer duration, and c they are in more committed and serious relationships that pose more barriers to leaving Kurdek, Leadley and colleagues examined drinking partnerships and IPV among cohabitating and married couples, but excluded dating couples.

Stets and Straus examined the differences in IPV among all three types of relationships, but did not include drinking partnerships. The present study extends the work of these studies by examining the associations between drinking partnerships and the occurrence of IPV across dating, cohabitating, and married heterosexual relationships. By doing so, IPV can be analyzed across different types of young adult relationships and across different types of drinking partnerships. Further, both minor and severe levels of male-to-female partner violence MFPV and female-to-male partner violence FMPV are examined from the points of view of couple partners, taking into perpetration and victimization.

Analyses are structured by three general hypotheses. H1 Examining differences in relationship type, the first hypothesis predicts that more highly committed couples cohabitating and married will experience higher rates of violence compared to dating couples.

H2 Examining cluster group differences in drinking partnerships, the second hypothesis predicts that discrepant heavy drinking couples will experience higher rates of violence in their relationships than congruent low drinking couples.

This study explores these possible moderators and indicates if, and how, they may limit the generalizability of the tests of the first two main hypotheses. The current study uses data from the Romantic Pairs subsample of the 3 rd Wave collected in — of the Add Health. Wave III originally contained 15, respondents. During Wave III, an interviewer traveled to homes of all original Wave I respondents who could be contacted and were currently living in the continental United States, Hawaii, or Alaska. Relationships were eligible for inclusion in the romantic pairs subsample if they met three criteria: opposite sex relationships, a current relationship, and partner was 18 or older.

This subsample was deed to collect information on attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes in late adolescence and young adulthood, particularly focusing on heterosexual romantic relationships. The romantic pairs subsample was approximately one-third married, one-third cohabitating, and one-third dating partners. Of the romantic pairs, the present study retained only those of the primary participants and partners who both reported drinking at least one alcoholic beverage in the past 12 months.

By using a cutoff of 6 years or less, we were able to create a subsample of young adults all of whom were between the ages of 18 and 30 a cutoff of more than 6 years would have created a subsample with a couple member who was older than 30 years old and who was not generalizable to young adulthood. After applying these restrictions along with a restriction of no missing data, the analysis dataset consisted of romantic pairs. However, because we dropped couples if either partner was a non-drinker, there was a substantial difference between the original pairs and the subsample of pairs in alcohol use.

For example, males and females drank approximately 3 drinks on average in the original sample, whereas in the subsample, males and females reported 4—5 drinks on average. Thus, the subsample does differ from the overall Add Health Romantic Pairs sample in terms of drinking behavior. Table 1 presents demographic information on the study sample. Specifically, couple members were older in more committed relationships, with dating couples averaging We assessed both perpetration and victimization and minor vs.

Similar to perpetration items, summing procedures were followed for minor and severe victimization outcomes. The procedures yielded eight IPV variables, deated within person variables. These within variables distinguished between sex of reporting partner, direction of violence perpetration or victimization of violence , and level of violence minor or severe.

It should be noted that the Add Health questions do not fit perfectly into minor and severe violence as found in a scale with established validity, such as the Conflict Tactics Scale. However, we tested these items by running frequencies and correlations on all the 8 variables. Based on these analyses, we found two distinct groupings.

Items regarding the minor forms of violence e. For women the mean response was 2. For men the mean response was 3. How many drinks did you usually have each time? Drinking partnerships were based on cluster analysis of female and male self-reports of drinking frequency and quantity.

Thus, associations of IPV with drinking are based on the same conceptualization of drinking quantity, frequency within couples as seen in literature. This clustering was performed separately for dating, cohabitating, and married couples. The first step of this procedure combined couples with the most similar drinking profiles. This step provides an initial of clusters using the average of the four drinking variables i.

Then these preliminary clusters are combined with the next most similar clusters or cases until all are linked to a cluster. Based on the hierarchical tree, the clustering coefficients, and cluster interpretability, a four-cluster solution was selected as the most representative of the data for each of the three types of relationships: dating, cohabitating, and married.

A k -means iterative cluster analysis determined groupings. The k -means procedure minimizes within-cluster variance in the profile variables while maximizing differences between clusters. Using this procedure, four similar clusters emerged for dating, cohabitating, and married couples. Men and women were also similar in drinking frequency means, indicating that both married men and women were drinking high amounts of alcohol and drinking frequently. All relationship type clusters based on drinking quantity and frequency are shown in Table 2.

These ificant group effects in demographics highlight how young adults within the same age group can have different kinds of experiences. Additional tests examined group differences in IPV according to ethnicity on all 8 types of IPV; however, no ificant differences were found. For example, do women who report higher levels of minor victimization of violence have male partners who report perpetrating higher levels of minor violence towards their female partners?

When deciphering these indexes, 0. The first hypothesis for this study predicted that cohabitating and married couples would have ificantly higher rates of intimate partner violence in their relationships as compared to dating couples. This hypothesis would be supported by a ificant relationship type main effect with follow-up multiple mean comparisons in the predicted direction indicating less IPV in dating relationships.

Thus, no support was found for Hypothesis 1 predicting that dating couples would experience lower levels of IPV compared to cohabitating and married couples. Post-hoc analyses, however, did not reveal any ificant follow up comparisons. As with predictions about relationship type, predictions about cluster differences received no support. The third hypothesis predicted moderating interaction effects and was tested with a factorial between and within ANOVA. The between level predictors were relationship type and cluster type.

The within levels included gender, minor versus severe violence, and victim versus perpetrator as moderators of IPV. In order to understand the 5-way interaction, analyses were rerun by splitting the dataset to run analyses within relationship type and then within cluster to examine the mean differences. The following are reported in Table 3 as superscripts, indicating ificant differences between groups deated by a or between clusters deated by a letter. The first set of analyses revealed that within drinking clusters i. For example, two members had scores that were approximately 2 and 3 SD above the mean with no other scores close to them.

The two scores above the mean were identified as outliers, were replaced with the mean, and reanalyzed. After substituting the group mean for these two outliers, the finding of married women reporting higher levels of perpetration towards their husbands in Cluster 4 were no longer supported. The extent to which the outlier scores would also be outliers in a larger sized cluster is unknown. In conclusion, revealed that hypothesis 1 relationship type differences was not supported because there was no main effect of relationship type.

Hypothesis 2 cluster differences was also not supported with nonificant group comparisons. Yet, there were interactions that were ificant in terms of relationship status and cluster type, providing considerable support for Hypothesis 3. Even when discovering and removing outliers, obtaining a 5-way interaction is all the more impressive because variance has been removed for all main effects, all 2-way interactions, all 3-way interactions, and all 4-way interactions.

None of the other relationship types differed across clusters. Drinking cluster types were different in terms of married couples being higher than unmarried couples on female-to-male minor perpetration. Thus, based on these moderating variables, predictions about relationship type and cluster differences received some support, but moderators e. This study examined IPV among drinking partnerships in dating, cohabitating, and married young adult heterosexual couples.

By using the cluster approach, four types of drinking partnerships were identified. These drinking partnerships were found to be an important couple-level indicator of drinking patterns to explain differences in IPV in young adults. Within these drinking partnerships, female-to-male and male-to-female perpetration and victimization were predicted by different combinations of alcohol use Leadley et al. It is important to note that the majority of couples in this sample did not report experiencing IPV, in fact only one-fourth of all couples in this sample reported the presence of any form of violence in their relationship.

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