Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Problems in Interethnic and Intraethnic Couples

Karen G. Chartier, Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Despite the growing number of interethnic marriages in the United States, few studies have examined intimate partner violence (IPV) in interethnic couples. This article examined past-year occurrences of IPV across interethnic and intraethnic couples and tested correlates of IPV specifically in interethnic couples. Data were from a national survey of couples 18 years of age and older from the 48 contiguous states. Interethnic couples (n = 116) included partners from different ethnic backgrounds, including Black-White, Hispanic-White, and Black-Hispanic couples. White (n = 555), Black (n = 358), and Hispanic (n = 527) intraethnic couples included partners with the same ethnicity. Data analyses were prevalence rates and logistic regressions. The analysis showed that interethnic couples were comparatively younger and had shorter relationships than intraethnic White, Black, and Hispanic couples. Male partners in interethnic couples had higher rates of binge drinking and alcohol problems compared with male partners in intraethnic couples. Past-year prevalence rates for any occurrence of IPV and acts of severe IPV were higher for interethnic couples relative to intraethnic couples. Most occurrences of IPV for interethnic couples were mutual. Factors predicting IPV among interethnic couples included marital status, couples' age, male alcohol problems, and female impulsivity. Mounting evidence points to interethnic couples as a high-risk group for IPV. Interethnic couples may be at greater risk for IPV because of their younger age, binge drinking, and alcohol problems. Future research could build on this study by examining cohort effects and regional differences in IPV for interethnic couples and the risk for IPV across interethnic couples of different ethnic compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1801
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • alcohol problems
  • binge drinking
  • interethnic couples
  • intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Problems in Interethnic and Intraethnic Couples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this