Category: Violence / Aggression

PS4- #C75 - Trait Jealousy and the Association Between Alcohol Problems and Intimate Partner Violence in Men Arrested for Domestic Violence

Friday, Nov 17
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Intimate Partner Aggression | Alcohol | Envy / Jealousy

Though alcohol use is a well-documented correlate of intimate partner violence (IPV), only 45% of IPV incidents within legal and clinical samples involved alcohol (Roizen, 2001). Conceptual models of IPV (Leonard, 1993) posited that the strength of the alcohol-IPV relationship is moderated by distal traits. Trait jealousy (i.e., a relatively stable propensity to interpret irrelevant or ambiguous events as conclusive of betrayal, infidelity, or other relationship threats) is one such distal predictor of IPV that moderated the association between problem drinking and IPV in a community sample of men (Foran & O’Leary, 2008) and college students (Rodriguez, DiBello, & Neighbors, 2015). Results of these studies revealed that alcohol problems related to IPV perpetration among individuals with high, but not low, levels of trait jealousy. However, researchers have yet to explore this association within a clinical sample of men arrested for domestic violence (DV). We hypothesized that alcohol problems would be associated with psychological and physical IPV perpetration among men arrested for DV with high, but not low, levels of trait jealousy.

            Cross-sectional data were collected from 68 men arrested for DV and court-ordered to batterer intervention programs. The Interpersonal Jealousy Scale (Mathes & Severa, 1981) assessed trait jealousy. The Psychological Aggression and Physical Assault perpetration subscales of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus et al., 1996) assessed psychological and physical IPV. The Alcohol Dependence Scale (Skinner & Horn, 1984) assessed alcohol problems.

            We conducted hierarchical multiple regression analyses using Hayes’ and Matthes’ (2009) SPSS macro to test the interaction between trait jealousy and alcohol problems predicting IPV perpetration. Psychological and physical IPV were examined as separate outcome variables. Results of a two-way interaction between alcohol problems and trait jealousy predicting physical assault revealed the interaction term was significant, B = .03, p < .01; alcohol problems predicted physical assault perpetration for men with high (B = .93, p < .01), but not low (B = -.68, p =.10), levels of trait jealousy. Results of a two-way interaction between alcohol problems and trait jealousy predicting psychological aggression perpetration revealed the interaction term was not significant, B = .01, p = .69.

            Results support jealousy as a distal trait which may interact with alcohol problems to predict physical IPV among a clinical sample of men arrested for DV. Batterer interventions should consider targeting both problematic, jealousy-related cognitions and alcohol use. Additional implications and limitations will be discussed.

Meagan J. Brem

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

Ryan C. Shorey

Assistant Professor
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

Emily Rothman

Boston University

Jeff Temple

University of Texas Medical Branch

Gregory L. Stuart

University of Tennessee