Binge-drinking couples more likely to be aggressive

Christchurch Press 05/07/2011

Binge-drinking couples are twice as likely to be involved in physical aggression towards each other, University of Otago research has found. Professor Jennie Connor of the department of preventive and social medicine in Dunedin said it was the first time the link between partner aggression and drinking has been studied in New Zealand. Researchers studied all forms of physical aggression, as violence in partnerships commonly escalated from less severe aggression, she said. The study found if one or both partners had a pattern of heavy drinking episodes – or binge drinking – then physical aggression was more common. Respondents who reported drinking five or more drinks on an occasion at least once a month were twice as likely to be an aggressor and three times as likely to be a victim of partner aggression, compared with people who did not binge. The study found evidence of differences between men’s and women’s experiences of partner aggression.