Academic journal article Violence and Victims

Longitudinal Model Predicting Mutual Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States General Population

Academic journal article Violence and Victims

Longitudinal Model Predicting Mutual Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States General Population

Article excerpt

This analysis determines the longitudinal predictors of male-to-female (MFPV) or female-to-male (FMPV) alone and mutual partner violence (MPV) among White, Black, and Hispanic couples. A national sample of couples 18 years of age or older was interviewed in 1995 and again in 2000. Participants constitute a multistage area probability sample representative of married and cohabiting couples from the 48 contiguous United States. Results indicate that most couples reporting violence engage in MPV. After controlling for other factors, Blacks are 3 times more likely to report MPV at follow-up and Hispanics are 9 times more likely to report MFPV. The results indicate that ethnic minorities are at greater risk of MPV. In addition, the predictors of partner violence vary depending on the type of partner violence. These findings highlight the importance of distinguishing different types of partner violence and have important epidemiological and prevention implications.

Keywords: intimate partner violence; general population survey; longitudinal analysis; ethnic differences; alcohol

Intimate partner violence (IPV) continues to be a significant public health problem. Survey research over the last quarter century indicates that about 1 in 5 couples have experienced an episode of partner violence in the last year (Schafer, Caetano, & Clark, 1998; Straus & Celles, 1990). Rates of male-to-female partner violence (MFPV) and female-to-male partner violence (FMPV) among U.S. couples are estimated to be about 14% and 21%, respectively (Schafer, Caetano, & Clark, 1998). Cross-sectional results of baseline data from 1995 indicated that Blacks and Hispanics were at increased risk of MFPV and FMPV (Caetano, Cunradi, Clark, & Schafer, 2000). For example, baseline data for the follow-up national survey presented herein and conducted in 1995 indicated that 17% of Hispanics, 23% of Blacks, and 11.5% Whites reported an incident of MFPV in the past month. Additionally, 15% of Whites, 21% of Hispanics, and 30% of Blacks reported FMPV (Caetano, Schafer, & Cunradi, 2001b). As a result, there has been a growing emphasis in studying partner violence across ethnic groups and its associated risk factors (Field & Caetano, 2004; Jasinski, 2001).

There have been a number of previous papers based on the data set analyzed herein. These have focused on a diverse set of topics, including reports on prevalence and predictors of partner violence (Caetano et al., 2000; Caetano, Field, Ramisetty-Mikler, & McGrath, in press), the relationship between drinking and partner violence (Caetano et al., 2000; Caetano, Schafer, & Cunradi, 2001) and alcohol-related problems and partner violence (Caetano, Nelson, & Cunradi, 2001; Cunradi, Caetano, Clark, & Schafer, 1999). Given the strong association between alcohol and partner violence, this paper pays particular attention to the potential role of alcohol consumption and alcohol related problems as predictors of the three types of IPV examined in this study.

Ethnic specific multivariate logistic regression models from cross-sectional analysis of baseline data indicated that the predictors of MFPV and FMPV such as psychosocial variables, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems varied by ethnicity (Caetano et al., 2000; Caetano, Nelson, & Cunradi, 2001; Cunradi et al., 1999). Differences in rates of partner violence between Whites and Hispanics have been explained by the combined effects of sociodemographic characteristics, alcohol consumption and its associated problems, as well as family history of violence (Caetano, Schafer, & Cunradi, 2001; Cunradi, Caetano, Clark, & Schafer, 2000; Kantor, 1990, 1993). In contrast, differences in the rates of partner violence between Blacks and Whites have not been readily explained by either socioeconomic factors alone (Cazenave & Straus, 1990) or socioeconomic factors and alcohol consumption and its associated problems combined (Kantor, Jasinski, & Aldarondo, 1993). …

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