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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Relationships Among Alcohol Outlet Density, Alcohol use, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Among Young Women in the United States

Greater access to alcohol has been widely found to be associated with many negative outcomes including violence perpetration. This study examines the relationship between alcohol outlet density, alcohol use, and intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization among young women in the United States. A direct association between alcohol outlet density in one’s neighborhood and the likelihood of IPV victimization was examined.

Data were from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which followed a nationally representative sample of adolescents into adulthood. Participants were young adult females age 18 to 26 at Wave III. Of the 4,571 female respondents who reported a current heterosexual relationship and had IPV data, 13.2% reported having been the victim of physical violence only and 6.5% experienced sexual only or physical and sexual violence in the relationship during the past year.

In the regression models tested, there was no significant direct association between neighborhood alcohol outlet density and IPV victimization nor was there an association between outlet density and drinking behaviors, thus eliminating the possibility of an indirect association.

Results of fully adjusted models indicate females who drank heavily, whether infrequently or frequently, were at significant risk for experiencing sexual only IPV or sexual and physical IPV.

Asians and Native Americans were at significantly greater odds of experiencing sexual only or sexual and physical IPV compared with non-Hispanic Whites, while non-Hispanic Blacks were at significantly greater odds for physical only IPV.

We conclude that a continuous measure of alcohol outlet density was not associated with IPV in models controlling for individual and other neighborhood characteristics.

Young women who drink heavily, whether infrequently or frequently, have greater odds of experiencing sexual only or sexual and physical compared to abstainers.

Similar to previous study findings, young women living with or married to their partner were at far greater risk of experiencing physical only and/or sexual only or sexual and physical IPV.

The study adds to the growing body of literature that examines how community characteristics such as outlet density influence the likelihood of IPV.

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