The Effects of Alcohol on Physical Violence Towards Minors

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There is a well-established link between alcohol use and violent interactions between family members, intimate partners, caretakers, and children, as well as a litany of other individuals in the known victim category. However, more research needs to be done about the relationship between alcohol and physical violence towards minors. This work showcases the background of alcohol's influence on violent behavior and the variables at play propelling those actions, particularly alcohol's role as part of the offender risk profile. The described work outlines the alcohol and violence intersection, alcohol's impact on an individual's choice to be violent, and why alcohol use may impact a caretaker's propensity to be violent. This study will further examine how much a individual’s alcohol use should weigh into a risk profile to be violent toward a minor and what other distal characteristics should be investigated when examining physical violence toward minors. There were multiple key findings in the present study. The first is that alcohol use did not, after controlling for other factors, increase an individual offender’s risk for an arrest for violence against a child. The second is the most substantial and robust predictors of physical violence towards a child were related to criminal behavior, and other types of violent perpetration in an individual’s criminal history.

Alcohol, Violence, Risk, Child Welfare