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Study: Alcohol Use May Lead To Violence Among Partners

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Study finds alcohol use can lead to violence between couples. (Erin Patrice O'Brien/Getty Images)

Study finds alcohol use can lead to violence between couples. (Erin Patrice O’Brien/Getty Images)

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KNOXSVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Charlotte) – According to a new study, alcohol use is more likely than marijuana to lead to violence between partners.

Researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville concluded that men under the influence of alcohol were more likely to engage in physical, psychological, or sexual aggression against their partners than men under the influence of marijuana. Women were determined to be more likely to participate in violence with their partners under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

The researchers want to find a link between alcohol and marijuana use and the potential of violence.

Two different studies were conducted; one for men and one for women. All participants were college students at least 18 years old and have been in a relationship for at least a month. The participants had to complete a daily diary for 90 days.

The study found that the odds of men using violence increased when they used alcohol. Odds of physical and sexual abuse increased on days where any alcohol was consumed and with each drink consumed. Odds of psychological abuse increased only on days when five or more drinks were consumed.

Marijuana was not related to violence between partners.

The study found that the odds of physical and psychological aggression for women were increased when they used alcohol and psychological aggression was increased when they used marijuana.

“I think it is too early to make definitive conclusions regarding the role of marijuana and intimate partner violence perception, as the research in this area is quite young and, to date, studies have provided conflicting evidence regarding tis role in increasing the odds for violence,” Gregory Stuart, a psychology professor told Medical Xpress. “However, we now have numerous studies suggesting alcohol use does increase the odds for violence between partners.”

Researchers say their findings show support between negative consequences associated with heavy alcohol consumption among college students.

“Our finding suggest that dating violence prevention and intervention programs should target reduction in alcohol use, but surprisingly, most of these programs largely ignore alcohol use,” Ryan Shorey, a psychology doctoral student added.

The researchers say that more research is needed on the relationship between marijuana and violence before he can make any suggestions related to domestic violence and prevention programs.

The study of male participants was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors and the study of female participants was published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

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