Polydrug Use and Dating Violence Among Emerging Adults

Hye Jeong Choi, Hannah Grigorian, Alisa Garner, Gregory L Stuart, Jeff R Temple
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2020 July 8, : 886260520934427
We examined sociodemographic and psychosocial risk factors that moderate the (poly) substance use and dating violence victimization and perpetration relationship among emerging adults. Using an ethnically diverse sample ( N = 698), we used latent class analyses to identify mutually exclusive groups based on monthly and past-year substance use. We then examined these groups as they relate to dating violence victimization and perpetration and the moderating effect of various risk factors. Five classes were identified based on substance use patterns: (a) Regular Alcohol use, (b) Polysubstance use, (c) Heavy Alcohol and Marijuana use, (d) Mild Alcohol use, and (e) Occasional Alcohol and Marijuana use classes. Participants in the Polysubstance use class were the most likely to perpetrate dating violence followed by Heavy Alcohol and Marijuana use, Occasional Alcohol and Marijuana use, Regular Alcohol, and Mild Alcohol use classes. Similarly, participants in the Polysubstance use class were the most likely to be victims of dating violence followed by Occasional Alcohol and Marijuana, Heavy Alcohol and Marijuana, Regular Alcohol, and Mild Alcohol use classes. Depending on substance use class, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, history of dating violence, and trauma symptoms differentially influenced dating violence perpetration and victimization at 1-year follow-up. Our findings support the need to comprehensively address dating violence among emerging adults. Intimate partner violence prevention and intervention programs may benefit from targeting emerging adults who misuse substances and incorporating substance use interventions into dating violence prevention efforts.

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