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Spousal Violence and Alcohol/Drug Problems Among Parolees and Their Spouses

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1990
18 pages
This study focuses on the interrelationships between alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. The sample consists of 82 male parolees, convicted of a wide range of violent and non-violent offenses, and their wives.
The study began with the assumption that those who had perpetrated criminal violence would be more disposed to committing domestic violence. The type and extent of substance abuse were identified for both parolees and spouses; the extent of domestic violence determined by assessing different types of conflict and by questioning both parties. Measurements for alcohol problems, drug use, and spousal violence were made using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, the DSM-III, the Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities (1979), and the Conflict Tactics Scale. Over 75 percent of parolees and 56 percent of spouses had alcohol problems, while 73 percent of parolees and 40 percent of spouses used illegal drugs regularly. During the three months prior to the interviews, 78 percent of parolees and 72 percent of spouses initiated moderate violence, while 33 percent of parolees and 39 percent of spouses perpetrated severe violence. Regression analysis indicates that the man's alcohol problems increased the level of his violence when there were no drug problems and that either party's alcohol problems exacerbated the man's violence. Because parolees seem to be prone to domestic violence as well as to alcohol and drug use, intervention strategies addressing the drug and alcohol problems of both partners need to be implemented. 2 figures, 3 tables, 7 notes, 36 references. (Author abstract modified).

Date Published: January 1, 1990