The role of alcohol use and depression in intimate partner violence among black and Hispanic patients in an urban emergency department

Sherry Lipsky, Raul Caetano, Craig A Field, Shahrzad Bazargan
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 2005, 31 (2): 225-42

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to assess the role of alcohol use and depression in intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration among Blacks and Hispanics in an underserved urban emergency department population.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study surveyed male and female patients presenting to an urban emergency department. The outcome measures were physical or sexual IPV victimization and perpetration in the previous 12 months. The independent predictors included demographic variables, alcohol and drug use, and depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analyses calculated the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for predictors of IPV victimization and perpetration in separate models.

RESULTS: The prevalence of IPV victimization among Blacks and Hispanics were similar (14% and 10%, respectively) but blacks were nearly twice as likely to report IPV perpetration (17% vs. 9%, respectively). Predictors of IPV perpetration were Black race, married or living with a partner, heavy drinking, illicit drug use, and current depression. Depression, but not substance use, also predicted IPV victimization, in addition to Black race, married or living with a partner, and younger age. Screening for substance abuse and depression in an inner city emergency department population may help to identify individuals at high risk of IPV, particularly IPV perpetration.

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