What role does substance use play in intimate partner violence? A narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with men in substance use treatment and their current or former female partner

Radcliffe, Polly, Gadd, David, Henderson, Juliet, Love, Beverly, Stephens-Lewis, Danielle ORCID: 0000-0001-6694-9954, Johnson, Amy, Gilchrist, Elizabeth and Gilchrist, Gail (2021) What role does substance use play in intimate partner violence? A narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with men in substance use treatment and their current or former female partner. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36 (21-22). pp. 10285-10313. doi:10.1177/0886260519879259

Text (Published version)
7333-Stephens-Lewis-(2019)-What-role-does-substance-use-play-in-intimate-partner-violence.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (185kB) | Preview
Text (Peer reviewed version)
7333 Stephens-Lewis (2019) What role does substance use play in intimate partner violence.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (199kB) | Preview


Few studies have examined intimate partner violence (IPV) in relationships where one or both partners are in treatment for substance use, from the perspectives of both members of a couple. This study used thematic and narrative analysis of the accounts of 14 men recruited from substance use services and 14 women who were their current or former intimate partners.Separate researchers interviewed men and women from the same dyad pair. The psychopharmacological effects of substance use (including intoxication, craving, and withdrawal) were rarely the only explanation offered for IPV. Violence was reported to be primed and entangled with sexual jealousy, with perceptions of female impropriety and with women’s opposition to male authority. Both partners reported adversities and psychological vulnerabilities that they considered relevant to conflict and abuse. Male participants were more likely to describe IPV as uncharacteristic isolated events that arose from specific disputes—either aggravated by intoxication or withdrawal or about substance use and its resourcing—whereas women described enduring patterns of abusive behavior often linked to intoxication, craving, withdrawal, and to disputes linked to raising funds for substances. In relationships where both partners used substances, men described the need to protect their partners from addiction and from unscrupulous others while women described highly controlling behavior. In relationships where women were not dependent substance users, they reported the combined effects of psychological and financial abuse often linked to recurring patterns of substance use and relapse. These findings highlight the challenges faced by practitioners working with male perpetrators who use substances as well as the need of those working with women who have been abused to engage with the ways in which hesitance to leave male abusers can be complicated by shared drug dependency.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intimate partner violence; Substance use; Interpersonal violence; Alcohol and drugs; Domestic violence; Vulnerability to abuse; REF2021
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Danielle Stephens-Lewis
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2019 09:24
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:04
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/7333

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.