Longitudinal model predicting partner violence among white, black, and Hispanic couples in the United States

Craig A Field, Raul Caetano
Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research 2003, 27 (9): 1451-8

BACKGROUND: A limited amount of information pertaining to ethnic-specific risk factors associated with intimate partner violence across time currently exists. The current study examines ethnic-specific longitudinal predictors of male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence (MFPV and FMPV) in white, black, and Hispanic couples in the U.S. general population.

METHODS: In 1995, a total of 1635 married or cohabitating couples 18 years of age or older living in households in the 48 contiguous states participated in a national survey that used a multistage probability sampling procedure with 100 primary sampling units and included oversamples of blacks and Hispanics. In 2000, the follow-up survey had an overall response rate of 72% and included 406 white, 232 black, and 387 Hispanic intact couples.Ethnic-specific regression models predicting MFPV and FMPV at follow-up were developed. The risk factors of interest included male and female reports of history of childhood abuse, exposure to parental violence, impulsivity, alcohol problems, frequency of drinking five or more drinks per occasion, volume of alcohol consumed per week in average standard drinks, approval of marital aggression and male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence at baseline. MFPV and FMPV in 1995 and 2000 were based on the Conflict Tactics Scale Form R.

RESULTS: Black and Hispanic couples were at approximately three times greater risk of MFPV and two times greater risk of FMPV at follow-up in comparison to white couples even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, alcohol consumption, and psychosocial variables. Extreme specific models indicated that among blacks, MFPV was a significant predictor of MFPV and FMPV at follow-up. In contrast, among Hispanics, FMPV was a significant predictor of FMPV and MFPV at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic-specific multivariate logistic regression models indicated that the predictors of MFPV and FMPV including psychosocial variables, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems varied by ethnicity. These findings contribute to our continually growing knowledge base regarding ethnic differences associated with the development of intimate partner violence and have important implications for prevention and intervention.

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