Relationship between intimate partner violence and alcohol use among Hispanic women in the border region

Sujehy Arredondo, University of Texas at El Paso


BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE: Hispanic/Latinos are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States and are disproportionately affected by alcohol use and intimate partner violence (IPV). Although a strong relationship between substance use and IPV has been documented in the literature, no studies have explored this relationship among Hispanic women in the El Paso, TX. STUDY AIMS: The aims of this study are to (1) determine the prevalence of alcohol use and intimate partner violence and (2) assess the association between IPV and alcohol use among Hispanic women living in the El Paso Border Region. METHODS: Project VIDA II (Violence, Intimate Relationships, and Drugs among Latinos), was conducted among Latinos in Florida then adapted and replicated in El Paso, TX to assess acculturation, depression, self-esteem, IPV, risky sexual behaviors, and substance abuse. Study participants were recruited from Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe at two sites (La Fe Cultural and Technology Center and La Fe Care Center-STD Clinic) and outside local businesses. Eligible participants for this study were women ages 18 to 55, self-identify as Hispanic, English or Spanish speakers, and indicated they had a partner (n=94). This study was a secondary data analysis to assess the association between demographic characteristics and alcohol use by measures of IPV. Bivariate associations with IPV by partner type were assessed using Chi-Square tests and t-tests, as appropriate. RESULTS: A total of 95 participants from the parent study met the eligibility criteria for this secondary data analysis. Overall, participants mean age was 37 (SD=12.1) and completed, on average, 11 (SD=3.9) years of education. Approximately 60% of participants were born in Mexico and 61.1% indicated they were in a relationship or married. Almost all participants (98.9%) reported being heterosexual. Almost a third of participants (29.5%) reported alcohol use. Based on the eligibility criteria for this analysis, all participants had at least one partner (41.1% had one partner, 17.9% had two partners, and 41.1% had three or more partners) in their lifetime and approximately half were currently living with a partner. Experiences of IPV (either sexual, physical, or verbal) were assessed with their first, last, and current partners were assessed. Overall, 42 (44.2%) participants ever experienced IPV by at least one of these partners. The proportions of country of birth significantly differed by experiences of IPV with their current partner (U.S. 5.3% vs. 94.7%; Mexico 21% vs. 78.9%; p-value= 0.047), were marginally significantly different for their first partner (p-value= 0.060), but not for their last partner (p-value=0.204). There was no significant association between alcohol use and IPV by any of these partners. We did not detect any other significant differences by IPV for any partner. DISCUSSION: Although there was no relationship determined between experiencing IPV by any of their partners and alcohol use, a trend exists. Among those who used alcohol, the rate of IPV decreased as the number of partners increased. In this study, participants were asked about their experiences with IPV by, at most, three of their partners. Unlike this study, future studies should assess experiences of IPV with all past partners and the duration of their relationship with each partner. Also, collecting more specific data on alcohol use (e.g., time frames of drinking) would allow for a more comprehensive understanding its temporal relationship with IPV. Such findings would provide insight to tailor future interventions to prevent IPV and/or provide support and coping services.

Subject Area

Public health|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Arredondo, Sujehy, "Relationship between intimate partner violence and alcohol use among Hispanic women in the border region" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1557743.