Recurrent multi-day patterns of intimate partner violence and alcohol intake in violent relationships

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Consistent links exist between male and female alcohol intake and intimate partner violence (IPV). However, the nature of the relationship remains unclear. This study explores the temporal relationships between violence and heavy alcohol intake, looking for multi-day patterns. 200 women with a recent history of husband-to-wife abuse from six primary care clinics were asked to complete daily assessments using Interactive Verbal Response (IVR) via telephone for 12 weeks. To identify recurrent strings of activities, we used orbital decomposition. Multi-day patterns were found at the 5-, 7- and 9-day levels, but most represented extensions of 4-day patterns. Overall, consecutive days of male-perpetrated, moderate-severe violence were common. In addition, heavy alcohol intake by the husband was underrepresented on days involving verbal abuse only but overrepresented in consecutive days of such abuse; husband's alcohol intake preceded his verbal abuse and a sequence of husbandperpetrated verbal abuse followed by mutual abuse followed by wife-perpetrated verbal abuse was noted. No patterns involved heavy alcohol intake by the wife. In conclusion, few patterns involved heavy alcohol intake by men and none by women. Although husband's heavy alcohol intake may contribute to onset and maintenance of verbal abuse, it plays little role in recurrent patterns of physical violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-63
Number of pages23
JournalNonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Alcohol use
  • Battered women
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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