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Intimate Partner Violence Among California Couples: Multilevel Analysis of Environmental and Partner Risk Factors

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This study assessed the extent to which environmental (census block-group alcohol outlet density, neighborhood demographic characteristics) and partner risk factors (e.g., hazardous drinking, psychosocial characteristics) contribute to the likelihood of intimate partner violence (IPV) among 1,753 couples residing in 50 medium-to-large California cities. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to analyze the role of alcohol outlets ( off-premise outlets, bars/pubs, and restaurants), neighborhood demographic characteristics, and partner risk factors in relation to male-to-female partner violence (MFPV) and female-to-male partner violence (FMPV) risk. Approximately 12% of couples reported past-year partner violence. Results showed that none of the environmental measures were related to MFPV or FMPV. Male partner's impulsivity and each partner's adverse childhood experiences were associated with MFPV risk. Risk factors for FMPV were male partner's impulsivity and frequency of intoxication and female partner's adverse childhood experiences. Individual/couple characteristics appear to be the most salient IPV risk factors. The male partner's heavy drinking may lead to negative partner/spousal interactions that result in FMPV. The male partner's impulsivity, and each partner's adverse childhood experiences, may potentiate couple conflict and result in aggression. Interventions that target prevention of family dysfunction during childhood may help reduce interpersonal violence in adulthood.
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Keywords: ALCOHOL OUTLETS; COUPLES; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; MULTILEVEL; NEIGHBORHOOD

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-10-01

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  • Partner Abuse, a peer-reviewed journal, recognizes that physical and emotional abuse among dating, cohabitating and married partners is as a major public health and social problem in North America and around the world. Its purpose is to advance knowledge, practice and policies through a commitment to rigorous, objective research and evidence-based solutions. In addition to original research papers and literature reviews, the journal welcomes viewpoints and commentaries on the topic of partner abuse, as well as clinical case studies, book reviews and letters to the editor.
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