Women’s Substance Use and Intimate Partner Violence

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women aged 15-44 years.

Project Overview

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women aged 15-44 years. Mandated treatment of intimate partner violence (IPV), or batterer treatment, is (a) very costly, (b) generally focused on men, and (c) relatively ineffective, furthermore men also are victims of IPV, and women’s IPV is little addressed. There is evidence that women’s physical aggression toward a partner makes them more likely to sustain an injury in retaliation. Recent studies suggest the importance of individual psychopathology as a predictor of aggression for women. Substance use is associated with IPV and frequently has been considered a contributing factor for men, but this issue has been little examined in women. The purpose of the proposed study is to examine the association of substance use, including nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit drugs, and IPV for a sample of 160 generally lower socioeconomic status women studied over a number of years with the same male partner in the OYS-Couples study. We are proposing to collect new data to provide additional diagnostic information on both the women and their partners’ current and lifetime substance use.  We will test the validity of different explanations of the observed associations between substance use and IPV. The findings will have important implications regarding the possible efficacy of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs as indirect prevention and treatment for women’s IPV.

Year Project Began: 2009
Funder: ARRA Challenge Grant (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Principal Investigator

Alan Feingold, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Feingold came to OSLC after having worked for nearly a decade as a biostatistician—directing the statistical research in both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy—in the Division of Substance Abuse at the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he used (a) mixture analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to study patterns of alcohol and drug abuse and the etiology of alcohol and substance use disorders, (b) multilevel analysis to examine treatment efficacy, and (c) meta-analysis to assess gender/ethnicity differences, prevalence rates, and intervention effects. His main interest at OSLC is in applying advanced statistical techniques to prospective longitudinal data on substance abuse behaviors and their consequences, and to develop new methods of effect sizes and confidence interval estimation for findings from latent growth and multilevel modeling of continuous and categorical outcomes. He currently is examining antecedents of alcohol use disorders and treatment utilization and is planning to study the linkage between smoking and intimate partner violence in at-risk men from the Oregon Youth Study.