Multi-day recurrences of intimate partner violence and alcohol intake across dynamic patterns of violence

David Katerndahl, Sandra K Burge, Robert Ferrer, Johanna Becho, Robert Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rationale, aims and objectives: Consistent links exist between male alcohol intake and male-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) as well as female alcohol intake and female-perpetrated IPV. However, the nature of the relationship remains unclear. This study attempted to identify unique alcohol-violence patterns within three different types of relationship dynamics to better understand the alcohol-violence relationship and its role in violence dynamics. Method: Two hundred women in abusive relationships were recruited from six primary care clinics. Subjects completed daily assessments of their relationship using interactive verbal response via telephone for 12 weeks. Dynamic patterns (periodic, chaotic, random) were determined by positive versus negative Lyapunov exponents and measures of correlation dimension saturation. To identify recurrent day-to-day activities, we used orbital decomposition (based on symbolic dynamics). Results: Periodic dynamics included daily reports with mutual abuse and alcohol intake while random dynamics included a variety of patterns, especially those involving unequal mutual abuse. Unique strings for each dynamic pattern were examined. Periodic dynamics involved heavy alcohol intake by the husband or mutual moderate-severe violence. Random dynamics uniquely involved mutual verbal abuse with husband's alcohol intake on same or different days as well as husband-perpetrated moderate-severe violence with or without husband-perpetrated minor violence. Chaotic dynamics uniquely involved combinations from wife-perpetrated minor violence alone to combinations of husband's heavy alcohol intake (with or without husband-perpetrated minor violence), mutual verbal abuse, and husband-perpetrated verbal abuse (with or without husband's heavy alcohol intake). Conclusion: Recurrent 4-day patterns were observed. Each dynamic pattern was characterized by recurrent strings unique to that pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-718
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of evaluation in clinical practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • Alcohol use
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Non-linear dynamics
  • Systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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