Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 9–24 | Cite as

Relationship of Substance Use/Abuse with Psychological and Physical Intimate Partner Violence: Variations Across Living Situations

  • Loretta J. Stalans
  • Jennifer Ritchie
Original Article


This study addresses whether the relationship between illicit drug use/abuse measures and intimate partner violence (IPV) varies across socioeconomic status, racial status, and environmental indictors of a drug supportive culture. Data from 19,131 respondents who were living with intimate partners and had not been treated for a substance abuse problem in the last year and participated in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse were analyzed. Marijuana use/abuse was a stronger predictor of IPV and psychological abuse for minorities, but was not a significant predictor of Caucasians’ IPV. Marijuana use/abuse also was a stronger predictor of IPV for those having a low socioeconomic status, but indicators of a drug supportive culture did not moderate the relationship. Minorities’ marijuana use/abuse increased their yelling and insulting behavior toward each other, and this psychological abuse mediated the effect of marijuana use/abuse on IPV. By contrast, stimulant use, sedative use, and alcohol abuse or dependence had independent direct effects on IPV after controlling for psychological abuse. Implications for research and policy are discussed.


Substance use/abuse Intimate partner violence Moderator effects Psychological abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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