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Both Alcohol and Neighborhood Characteristics can Affect Intimate Partner Violence

e authors described the neighborhoods in terms of social disorder and how these characteristics might, indeed, influence how drinking affects partner violence was novel and, to the best of my knowledge, the issue has not been looked at this way before."

Researchers examined the responses of 19,035 married/cohabiting adults (non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white) who participated in the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

"The findings suggest that for married/cohabiting men, drinking and living in a socially disordered neighborhood both contribute to elevated risk for mutual IPV," said Cunradi. "For married/cohabiting women, except those who are the heaviest drinkers, drinking contributes to elevated risk for mutual IPV, but only in the context of higher neighborhood social disorder. Women who are the heaviest drinkers are at elevated risk for mutual IPV regardless of the context of their neighborhood."

"Although there is a growing consensus that drinking and drug use increase the chance of IPV, this investigation drives home the point that we must understand the contextual factors that may influence how individuals may behave when they are intoxicated," said Fals-Stewart. "Thus, if the neighborhood or community is one where violence and other socially negative behaviors, such as drug use and other criminal activity, are likely to occur, the general acceptance for violence including IPV may simply be higher than other neighborhoods."

Furthermore, added Fals-Stewart, the vast majority of research thus far on IPV and alcohol use has focused on men and male-to-female violence. "We know far less about the role of women in these episodes, how their drinking may influence their likelihood of being victimized or their likelihood of engaging in IPV," he said. "The fact that there are gender differences in terms of how a neighborhood influences the relationship between drinking and violence suggests that,
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