Recent evidence suggests that psychedelic use predicts reduced perpetration of intimate partner violence among men involved in the criminal justice system. However, the extent to which this association generalizes to community samples has not been examined, and potential mechanisms underlying this association have not been directly explored.
The present study examined the association between lifetime psychedelic use and intimate partner violence among a community sample of men and women. The study also tested the extent to which the associations were mediated by improved emotion regulation.
We surveyed 1266 community members aged 16–70 (mean age=22.78, standard deviation=7.71) using an online questionnaire that queried substance use, emotional regulation, and intimate partner violence. Respondents were coded as psychedelic users if they reported one or more instance of using lysergic acid diethylamide and/or psilocybin mushrooms in their lifetime.
Males reporting any experience using lysergic acid diethylamide and/or psilocybin mushrooms had decreased odds of perpetrating physical violence against their current partner (odds ratio=0.42, p<0.05). Furthermore, our analyses revealed that male psychedelic users reported better emotion regulation when compared to males with no history of psychedelic use. Better emotion regulation mediated the relationship between psychedelic use and lower perpetration of intimate partner violence. This relationship did not extend to females within our sample.
These findings extend prior research showing a negative relationship between psychedelic use and intimate partner violence, and highlight the potential role of emotion regulation in this association.
Thiessen, M. S., Walsh, Z., Bird, B. M., & Lafrance, A. (2018). Psychedelic use and intimate partner violence: The role of emotion regulation. Journal of psychopharmacology, 0269881118771782.