Substance use and intimate partner violence: a meta-analysis



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Kansas State University


This meta-analysis used data from 285 studies (yielding 983 effect sizes and a combined sample size of 627,726) to quantitatively evaluate the link between substance use and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and victimization. Results indicated that overall substance use, alcohol use, and drug use were significantly related to both IPV perpetration and victimization, with mean effect sizes ranging from r =.18 to .23. Moderator analyses also compared males and females for overall substance use, alcohol use, and drug use; subcategories of alcohol use and drug use; and different types of drugs, for males and females, and for IPV perpetration and for victimization. This is the first meta-analysis to compare alcohol versus drug use for IPV perpetration and IPV victimization. The analyses revealed drug use to be a significantly stronger risk marker for victimization, and a non-significantly stronger risk marker for perpetration, compared to alcohol use. Alcohol consequence measures (i.e., abuse and dependence) were significantly stronger risk markers than consumption measures for IPV victimization, but non-significantly different for IPV perpetration. Furthermore, more frequent alcohol use (few times a week, almost daily, and daily) was a significantly stronger risk marker for perpetration compared to other alcohol frequency measures. Drug consequence measures (abuse/dependence) were significantly stronger risk markers for perpetration than simply drug use measures. There were no significant differences between different drug types, and no significant difference between stimulants versus non-stimulants for IPV perpetration and victimization (though these smaller comparisons may have been underpowered, and thus unable to detect differences). The findings of this study are important because they provide the most comprehensive and detailed analysis of the link between substance use and IPV to date.



Individual & family studies, Substance use, Intimate partner violence

Graduation Month



Doctor of Philosophy


School of Family Studies and Human Services

Major Professor

Jared R. Anderson