Professor Wins Grant to Study Alcohol Use and Violence

KNOXVILLE — Research has shown that women who act violently against their intimate partners or are victims of violence in their relationships are more likely than comparison groups to have alcohol problems.

Gregory Stuart
Gregory Stuart
Gregory Stuart, associate professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received a grant of $1.7 million from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study whether women arrested for domestic violence who also drink hazardously would benefit from an alcohol treatment regimen.

The grant is the second phase of funding for Stuart’s research. The overall award is $2.3 million for five years. Stuart first won the grant while he was at Brown University in Rhode Island. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Recent research has shown women may be three to seven times more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence, or IPV, on days they drink alcohol compared to days they do not. More than one half of women arrested for IPV and referred by courts to batterer intervention groups drink hazardously.

For Stuart’s study, 160 women who drink hazardously and are violent will be assigned to either a brief, motivationally focused alcohol intervention program and a standard batterer intervention or the standard batterer intervention alone.

The women will then be monitored for a year, hoping to find that those in the alcohol treatment group drink less, become victims of violence less, and commit fewer acts of IPV than their counterparts in standard care.

“If it is effective, the brief alcohol treatment can be disseminated to violence programs across the country to improve alcohol use and violence outcomes,” Stuart said.

Stuart joined the UT faculty in August. He continues to serve as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and he is the director of family violence research at Butler Hospital. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies.

In 2007, he received the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award and the Outstanding Teaching Award in psychology from Brown University. This year, he was named a fellow in the American Psychological Association.


Contact:

Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179, elizabeth.davis@tennessee.edu