• Male client self-reports of domestic violence reduction following employee assistance program intervention for alcohol abuse

      Maiden, R. Paul; Mitchell, Gust (1994)
      This study examined self reports of domestic violence by male employee assistance program (EAP) clients who had received intervention for alcohol abuse. The literature suggests an association between domestic violence and alcohol abuse. The intent of the study was threefold: (1) to determine whether EAP clients who had received professional intervention for alcohol abuse were engaged in domestic violence before alcohol abuse intervention, (2) to determine the extent clients report a curtailment of domestic violence following alcohol abuse intervention, (3) to determine if selected factors during intervention contributed to reducing domestic violence. The sample consisted of 80 married, cohabitating, or divorced male clients from Chicago area employee assistance programs who had received diagnoses of alcoholism from EAP counselors and who were referred for either inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. Data for the study were collected by telephone interviews with former clients. Twenty-four variables were used-to generate a profile of the participants' intervention experiences as well as their marital and employment stability profiles. The 18-item Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979) was used to measure incidence of domestic violence before and after intervention. Ninety-four percent of the respondents reported they had engaged in some form of verbal or physical assault of their partner including profanity, intimidation, hitting, beating up or threatening with a knife or gun prior to intervention for alcohol abuse. Over-all, the incidence of domestic violence was substantially reduced after intervention. Participants who reported engaging in severe physical violence before intervention reported the use of occasional, moderate domestic violence and verbally abusive behavior after intervention. Regular attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and frequent contact with an AA sponsor were found to be statistically significant in the reduction of domestic violence with variables appearing to serve as paths to the reduction of domestic violence. However, reports of post-intervention domestic violence show a continued pattern of violence though with less frequency and lowered severity. The findings support the need to intervene in alcohol abuse as a means of reducing domestic violence. It is evident, however, that more extensive understanding and specialized interventions are needed to fully understand and address the full range of underlying causes of domestic violence.