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The researchers report that they found no link between pot smoking and partner violence among men.
A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Florida State University found that men who have been drinking booze are at greater risk of becoming physically and sexually aggressive against their partners compared to those who have been smoking pot. They're also more likely to be psychologically aggressive.
In addition, women were also more likely to be aggressive after drinking compared to after smoking pot, the investigators found.
The studies tracked male and female college students in relationships who'd consumed alcohol recently. The participants described daily events in online diaries for 90 days.
The study on how male students behaved while drinking or smoking pot appears in the January issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors, while the look at female students was published online recently in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
The men were more likely to be physically and sexually abusive after drinking, and the odds went up with each drink consumed. Psychological abuse was more likely only when men consumed five or more drinks, the findings showed.
In women, the researchers linked physical and psychological aggression to alcohol use, and also linked psychological aggression to marijuana use.
"I think it is too early to make definitive conclusions regarding the role of marijuana and intimate partner violence perpetration, as the research in this area is quite young and, to date, studies have provided conflicting evidence regarding its role in increasing the odds for violence," study co-author Gregory Stuart, a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, said in a university news release.
"However, we now have numerous studies suggesting alcohol use does increase the odds for violence between partners," Stuart added.
Another study by the same authors and a grad student, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found that pot-smoking women were less likely to be physically violent.
"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," study co-author Ryan Shorey, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, said in the news release.
-- Randy Dotinga
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