Importance Multivariable comorbidity research indicates that many common mental disorders are manifestations of 2 latent transdiagnostic factors, internalizing and externalizing. Alcohol use is closely related to the externalizing factor and is known to increase the risk for intimate partner violence. The present study is the first to our knowledge to investigate the role of the externalizing factor as a possible moderator between the relationship between alcohol use disorders and intimate partner violence.
Objective To examine the relationship between externalizing factors, alcohol use and both perpetration and victimization in intimate partner violence.
Design, Setting, and Participants Structural equation modeling was used in a nationally representative sample (N = 25,778) of adults in relationships in the United States, taken from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), and used to test the possibility that transdiagnostic factors mediate the effects of alcohol on the victimization and perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The data were obtained from 2004 to March 2005. Latent variable measurement models, including factor analysis, and indirect effect models were used in the study.
Main Outcomes and Measures When the IPV factors were regressed on the residual of the alcohol use disorders (AUD) (i.e., the variance associated with AUD that was disorder-specific, or unique from the externalizing core) as well as the externalizing factor, the associations between IPV perpetration and victimization and AUD were non-significant.
Results Presence of an alcohol use disorder was significantly positively associated with higher levels of both IPV perpetration and victimization for both genders. Each IPV factor, in both men and women, was significantly associated with the externalizing factor. Inclusion of covariates led to no change in the significance of the above associations and trivial changes in the magnitude of coefficients observed.
Conclusions and Relevance The pathways from alcohol use disorders to intimate partner violence were not direct but indirect (via the externalizing transdiagnostic factors). Therefore, perceived alcohol use may be associated with IPV due to its association with transdiagnostic factors.
Ingrid Solano– Student, Stony Brook University, Rockville Centre, New York
Craig Rodriguez-Seijas– M.A., Stony Brook University, Lake Grove, New York
Sarah Bannon– Stony Brook University
Nicholas Eaton– Stony Brook University
K. Daniel O'Leary– Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, Michigan