Attitudes About Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Consumption

Andrea L. Roach, Ashley E. Ermer, Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This mixed methods study analyzed individual attitudes regarding how the gender of an aggressor, levels of aggression (i.e., slapping, punching, or threatening with a weapon), and alcohol consumption (i.e., one beer, three beers, or six beers) are associated with attitudes about (a) the use of violence in intimate partner violence (IPV) in a romantic relationship and (b) the influence of alcohol on the violent act. Individuals (n = 546) participated in an online survey using multiple segment factorial vignettes, which allowed participants to respond to the actions of characters in a hypothetical scenario rather than how they might have reacted in a similar scenario. Regarding the use of IPV, 512 believed the violent act should not have occurred. Logistic regressions revealed participants (a) were significantly less likely to say alcohol influenced a male in comparison to a female, (b) were significantly more likely to respond that the perpetrator’s behavior was influenced by having drunk three or six beers compared with just one, and (c) were not significantly more or less likely to say the alcohol influenced the type of violence used. Analyses of qualitative responses (a) reinforced beliefs that violence (generally) and IPV (specifically) were not acceptable and (b) showed that beliefs about the influence of alcohol included attitudes regarding alcohol enhancing emotions and/or clouding judgment, perpetrators being in control regardless of alcohol intake, alcohol not being used as an excuse for violence, alcohol affecting people differently, and alcohol results in people showing their true selves. In addition, participants tended to downplay alcohol-related female-perpetrated aggressions. The results of this study help to better understand attitudes about IPV and the role that alcohol plays in violent relationships. Information derived from this study can be used in informational and intervention workshops which address IPV.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • alcohol and drugs
  • domestic violence
  • perceptions of domestic violence
  • violence
  • violent offenders
  • women offenders

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