Intimate partner violence and drinking patterns among white, black, and hispanic couples in the U.S.

Raul Caetano, Carol B. Cunradi, John Schafer, Catherine L. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Purpose. Using reports from both partners, this study estimated prevalence rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) among white, black, and Hispanic couples in the U.S., and assessed the contribution of drinking patterns, psychosocial, and other sociodemographic factors to the risk of partner violence. Methods. A multistage area probability sample consisting of 555 white, 358 black, and 527 Hispanic couples in the U.S. household population was interviewed in 1995. Logistic regression analyses revealed that predictors of IPV vary by ethnicity. Results. Rates of male-to-female (MFPV) and female-to-male partner violence (FMPV) were highest among black couples (23% and 30%), followed by Hispanic (17% and 21%), and white couples (12% and 16%). Between 27 percent and 41 percent of the men, and 4 percent and 24 percent of the women were drinking at the time of the violent incident. Implications. Black and Hispanic couples are at higher risk for IPV than white couples and should be targeted for prevention intervention. The interrelationships among IPV, alcohol consumption, and ethnicity are complex. These findings suggest that future attempts at modeling IPV should be ethnically sensitive and, ideally, include separate analyses of each ethnic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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