Alcohol and Aggressive Personality Styles: Potentiators of Serious Physical Aggression Against Wives?

Richard E. Heyman, K. Daniel O'Leary, Ernest N. Jouriles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and marital aggression in a community sample (N = 272) assessed in a longitudinal study at premarriage and at 6, 18, and 30 months of marriage. Participants completed self-report measures of alcohol problems and total alcohol consumption, aggressive personality style, marital aggression, marital adjustment, and divorce potential. Husbands' alcohol problems were associated with serious aggression at premarriage and at 6 months. Alcohol use interacted with aggressive personality traits in predicting aggression at 18 months. Husbands' premarital aggression, but not alcohol problems, was predictive of wives' future steps toward divorce and lower marital adjustment. Results are discussed in relation to the marital mediational model of alcohol and aggression in marriage and to the need to account for developmental changes in the relation between alcohol and aggression during the early years of marriage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this