Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Greg Dear

Abstract

Studies consistently find an association between alcohol use and intimate partner violence (IPV) and many explanations for this association have been offered. The purpose of this review was to examine the nature of this association and determine the extent to which it is understood. Two questions were addressed. Is there conclusive evidence that alcohol use plays a causal role in IPV? What evidence supports the various theories put forward to explain the association between alcohol use and IPV? The current research indicates that alcohol is a contributing factor to IPV that needs to be understood in terms of other interacting variables. There is evidence partly supporting each theory on the association between alcohol and IPV. Integrating the different theories should provide a more effective explanation of the role of alcohol in IPV than would reliance on any single theory. This study examined the role of alcohol in intimate partner violence (IPV) by investigating incidents of IPV where the violent male partner had consumed alcohol and where he had not. Two research questions were addressed: (1) how are IPV incidents when the male partner had been drinking alcohol similar to those when he had not been drinking alcohol? (2) How do IPV incidents when the male partner had been drinking alcohol differ from those when he had not been drinking alcohol? Six women residing at domestic violence refuges participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic content analysis indicated that similar interpersonal dynamics occur when alcohol is involved and when it is not, but that incidents of IPV were more severe when alcohol is involved.

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