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Longitudinal Associations of Binge Drinking with Interpersonal Violence Among Adolescents


Binge drinking may be associated with adolescents’ experience of multiple types of interpersonal violence perpetration and victimization, and if so, could be a malleable intervention target to prevent interpersonal violence. The current article explores the between- and within-person associations of binge drinking (i.e., 4/5 or more drinks in a row for girls/boys) with interpersonal violence among adolescents (N = 1322, 50.3% girls/women, 88.9% White/non-Hispanic, 85.9% heterosexual, 18.6% free/reduced lunch, aged 13–19) using a longitudinal design (three waves of data collection across more than a year). Overall, adolescents who engaged in binge drinking at more time points were more likely to perpetrate sexual harassment and stalking, and more likely to be victims of stalking and dating violence. At time points when adolescents had engaged in binge drinking in the past month, they were more likely to perpetrate dating violence, less likely to perpetrate stalking, and more likely to be sexual harassment victims. Addressing binge drinking in prevention programs may reduce some forms of interpersonal violence.

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  1. The starting sample was 4069, but 665 cases (16.3%) were removed due to an inability to match surveys across time points (n = 625, 15.4%; which would mean that a single participant would be in the data set as different participant across time points), mischievous (n = 31, 0.8%; e.g., wrote in impossible demographics [e.g., age 3], wrote or drew lewd comments and figures, etc.) and/or extreme (n = 6, 0.2%; e.g., indicated the highest possible response on two or more measures, answering yes to every perpetration question, saying they intervened every time, etc.), responders and/or transferring from a treatment to control school or vice versa (n = 3, 0.1%; and thus concerns about contamination).


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We owe a great deal of gratitude to our school and community partners and the 50 + research assistants and program facilitators. Without these agencies and individuals, this project would not have been possible. We would like to thank Dr. Victoria Banyard and Stephanie Sessarego for their contributions to the larger study and data collection.

Authors Contributions

E.A.W. conceived of the study, conducted literature review, conducted analyses, interpreted results, and coordinated and drafted the manuscript. K.D.M.L. conducted literature review, assisted with analyses and interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. K.M.E. collected the data and provided feedback on the manuscript.


The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Data Sharing and Declaration

Funding for this study was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Grant #R01-CEO02524. The findings and implications presented in this paper do not represent the official views of the CDC.

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Correspondence to Emily A. Waterman.

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This study was approved by (board and reference number masked for review). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (board masked for review) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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For participants under 18, informed consent was obtained from a parent/guardian for all participants. In addition, all participants under 18 assented to the study. For participants over 18, informed consent was obtained for all participants.

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Waterman, E.A., Lee, K.D.M. & Edwards, K.M. Longitudinal Associations of Binge Drinking with Interpersonal Violence Among Adolescents. J Youth Adolescence 48, 1342–1352 (2019).

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