Association between intimate partner violence and help seeking for alcohol problems

Raul Caetano, Craig A. Field, Scott Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: The primary aim of this study is to determine the association between intimate partner violence, alcohol problems, and help seeking behaviors for alcohol problems. In addition, the study was conducted to examine ethnic differences in the reporting of intimate partner violence, alcohol problems and treatment or help seeking for alcohol problems. Methods: A probability sample (n = 1468) of White, Black and Hispanic couples 18 years of age or older in the U.S. household population was interviewed in 1995 with a response rate of 85%. Help seeking was defined as talking to someone or seeking treatment for an alcohol problem; therefore, the bivariate and multivariate analyses exclude lifetime abstainers. Results: Multivariate analysis controlling for ethnicity, gender, age, education, and income indicated that those with alcohol problems and intimate partner violence together were 1.5 (95% CI = 0.8-2.6) times more likely to seek help than those reporting alcohol problems alone. Conclusions: The coexistence of intimate partner violence and alcohol problems may prompt individuals to seek help for alcohol problems. However, a majority of people who report intimate partner violence and alcohol problems or alcohol problems alone do not seek help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Ethnicity
  • Help seeking
  • Intimate partner violence
  • National survey
  • Treatment seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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