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Abstract

A survey of 107 adults receiving residential treatment for substance abuse was conducted, to determine characteristics of domestic violence in relationships. The survey incorporated instruments to measure the degree of substance abuse (the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test or MAST) as well as types and frequencies of domestic violence (the Conflict Tactics Scale or CTS-N). Findings are then compared to a national study of 2143 normals (Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980) to ascertain differences in domestic violence.

Findings indicate that 83% of alcoholic subjects behaved violently in past relationships, compared to 28% of the normal population. Fifty-five percent of the alcoholics had been violent in a relationship during the past year, compared to 16% of the normals who were violent during that time. The findings also indicate that violence in alcoholic relationships is far more frequent and severe than in nonalcoholic relationships. The implications of these findings for clinical practice are discussed.

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