New studies suggest alcohol use is more likely than marijuana use to lead to violence between college students in a relationship.
Researchers at the University of Tennessee studied the timing of alcohol and marijuana use and intimate partner violence in college students.
They conducted separate studies of male and female college students who had been in a relationship for at least a month that involved two days a week of face-to-face contact. Participants completed an online diary once a day for three months.
The researchers found the odds of psychological, physical and sexual violence increased with men's use of alcohol. The odds of physical and sexual abuse increased on days where any alcohol was consumed. The risk increased with each drink consumed. The odds of psychological abuse increased on days when men consumed five or more drinks.
Men's use of marijuana use was not found to be related to violence between intimate partners, News-Medical.net reports.
Women were more likely to be physically and psychologically aggressive when they drank alcohol, and were also more likely to be psychologically aggressive when they used marijuana.
The study of men appears in Addictive Behaviors, and the study of women appears in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
"Our findings suggest that dating violence prevention and intervention programs should target reduction in alcohol use, but surprisingly, most of these programs largely ignore alcohol use," lead researcher Ryan Shorey said in a news release.