Skip to main content
Relationship aggression and substance use among women court-referred to domestic violence intervention programs
Addictive Behaviors (2003)
  • Gregory Lyal Stuart
  • T. M. Moore
  • S. E. Ramsey
  • C. W. Kahler
Although there is extensive theoretical and empirical evidence linking men's alcohol abuse and marital violence, no previous studies have assessed the substance use characteristics of women arrested for domestic violence. We recruited 35 women who were arrested for domestic violence and court-referred to batterer intervention programs. We administered multiple measures of substance use and abuse and assessed the women's marital aggression, marital satisfaction, depressive symptomatology, use of general violence, and their relationship partners' substance use. We also divided the sample into groups of hazardous drinkers (HD) and nonhazardous drinkers (NHD). Across the entire sample, almost half of the women were classified as HD. Over one-quarter of the women reported symptoms consistent with an alcohol abuse or dependence diagnosis, and approximately one-quarter of the sample reported symptoms consistent with a drug-related diagnosis. Over one-half of the total sample reported that their relationship partners were HD. Relative to the NHD group, the HD group scored higher on measures of drug problems, relationship aggression, general violence, and marital dissatisfaction. The results of the study suggest that substance use and abuse should routinely be assessed as part of batterer interventions and that batterer programs would be improved by offering adjunct or integrated alcohol treatment. DOI:
  • Marital violence,
  • Alcohol abuse,
  • Arrested women,
  • Substance use,
  • Aggressionn
Publication Date
Citation Information
Gregory Lyal Stuart, T. M. Moore, S. E. Ramsey and C. W. Kahler. "Relationship aggression and substance use among women court-referred to domestic violence intervention programs" Addictive Behaviors Vol. 28 Iss. 9 (2003)
Available at: