Recent studies suggest a strong relationship between alcohol use, physical violence and cognitive functioning. Alcohol use is involved in 40-60% of incidents of domestic violence and between 50-60% of men who seek treatment for alcoholism have assaulted their wives and partners in the year prior to starting treatment. Alcohol use has been linked to deficits in impulse control that are in turn linked with violent behaviour. However, there have been few studies into the differences in cognition between alcoholics who do, or do not, beat their wives and partners. A study of 25 alcoholics in the U.S. found that those who assaulted their partners had more severe deficits in attention, concentration and cognitive flexibility. Both groups were more impulsive and had poorer decision-making skills than a control group of smokers without a drink problem.
Easton, Caroline J. ... [et al] - Neurocognitive Performance Among Alcohol Dependent Men With and Without Physical Violence Toward Their Partners: A Preliminary Report The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 34(1), 29 - 37