Intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) is a major public health problem, with an important mortality rate in women across the world. In this regard, it has been well-established that drug misuse explains (at least in part) an increased risk of IPVAW perpetration. Even though alcohol is the most widely studied drug underlying IPVAW, other drugs, such as cannabis and cocaine also seem to be significant indicators of this type of violence. Nonetheless, little is known about mediators, such as cognitive domains that facilitate proneness to violence after drug consumption. Therefore, the primary objective of the present study was to compare drug misuse patterns and cognitive performance in a carefully selected sample of IPVAW perpetrators (n
= 63) and a group of non-violent men (control group; n
= 39). Second, we also aimed to study the association between different patterns of drug misuse and cognitive performance and several facets of IPVAW perpetration (i.e., severity of injuries and type of aggression). Our results revealed that IPVAW perpetrators showed considerably higher levels of sustained drug misuse (alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and heroin) for years and worse cognitive performance than controls. Moreover, the highest drug misuse sustained over time was related to the worst cognitive performance and the highest IPVAW severity. Finally, alcohol and cocaine seemed to be related to IPVAW and risk of reoffending. Whereas, cannabis, heroin, and MDMA were related to the existence of a previous criminal record (delinquency without violence). Hence, research in this field would help to develop coadjutant treatments and intervention packages to reduce drug misuse in the initial stages, which in turn would reduce cognitive impairments in IPVAW perpetrators. These expected improvements might produce an increase in treatment adherence and a decrease in the risk of future IPVAW reoffending.
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