By Marc Galanter, Henri Begleiter
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Additional resources for Alcohol and violence: epidemiology, neurobiology, psychology, family issues
We know that an alcohol presence in violent events does not necessarily mean that alcohol affected the behavior of any of the participants. And more than half of violent crimes and other incidents of violence do not involve alcohol use by the victim or the offender. Further, as is the case in much epidemiological research, the precise mechanism for a relationship between the independent and dependent variables is not known, and there is no gen- 9 1 • Issues in Alcohol-Related Violence Table I. 7–44 12–80 9–83 17–70 15 9–45 14–64 7 3 2 5 3 12–62 13–25 1–16 21–83 23–63 33 8 26 8 32–64 16–49 21–83 25–63 19 15 41–72 18–51 6 3 3 45–75 31–44 7–12 6 3–25 13 3 3 18 29 5 2 5 28–86 24–37 7–72 13–60 14–87 25–60 12–16 6–40 17 14–100 6 13 30–70 18–66 continued 10 I • Epidemiology Table I.
A man’s giving unwanted intoxicants was considerably less important, however, than being “overwhelmed by a man’s continual arguments and pressure,” which 25% of women reported. 01. Four categories of sexual coercion are used in this analysis. Sexual contact includes kissing and fondling under pressure; sexual coercion includes sexual intercourse under pressure but not by use of force. As these data show, the differences in these scores on the alcohol use index cover a narrow range of drinking behaviors given the scope of the index, with its potential range of scores from 3–15.
This means systematic, in part, qualitative, studies to find out how people actually act in situations that result in violence. There is often little prestige in this and nothing exotic in looking at the natural history of events that affect the people next door. The fifth dilemma is that the police, courts, and medical professionals need to make judgments about alcohol’s role in violence at a time when we actually know relatively little about it. ,9 examining the relationship between substance abuse and child abuse on behalf of the agencies concerned with child protection in Boston, frustratedly argued, Orme and Rimmer’s 1981 review of the research on alcoholism and child abuse concluded that the studies done up until that time had failed to provide the empirical data necessary to support the association between 12 I • Epidemiology alcoholism and child abuse.