Social support as a moderator for alcohol-related partner aggression during the transition to parenthood




Caldeira, Valerie

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Alcohol-related partner aggression is a pervasive social problem throughout various life stages, including the transition to parenthood. Previous research shows that alcohol use is associated with partner aggression perpetration for both men and women; however, not all individuals who consume alcohol act aggressively. In this study, the moderating effects of general social support and partner-specific support on the association between alcohol use and both physical and psychological partner aggression were investigated using a community sample of 98 pregnant couples. For men, high levels of general social support increased alcohol-related physical and psychological aggression whereas partner-specific emotional support served as a buffer for physical aggression. For women, general social support was not a significant moderator, but high levels of partner-specific instrumental support increased alcohol-related physical aggression. These results can be applied to prevention and treatment programs for alcohol-related partner aggression.



partner aggression, alcohol use, social support, violence, pregnancy