Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Ginette Lafrenière

Advisor Role



This study examines men’s experiences and perceptions of concurrent substance use and intimate partner violence using qualitative methodology. Previous research on the relationship between these concerns has been primarily quantitative in nature and situated within two dominant perspectives (the medical model and feminism). The aim of this study was to explore men’s stories within social constructionist and postmodern frameworks to develop a more comprehensive understanding of their lived experiences with concurrent substance use and intimate partner violence.

Narrative methods were employed to collect and analyze the data. Purposive sampling located twelve men living in the Niagara Region, St. Mary’s, and Brantford who agreed to participate in audio-recorded interviews. Four main open-ended research questions explored various aspects of men’s experiences in childhood/adolescence and adulthood, including their substance use histories, incidents of partner violence, perceptions related to influences on masculinity, involvement with service providers, and support that is required when making change.

Findings emerging from a Thematic Narrative Analysis highlighted the significance of trauma in men’s experiences and resulted in three main themes: 1) childhood trauma, 2) adult trauma, and 3) transformation. Within these dominant themes, multiple subthemes emerged and explored various traumas men experienced in childhood/adolescence and adulthood, factors that influenced intimate partner violence situations and use of substances, perceptions of masculinity, and elements that facilitated/obstructed men’s efforts to make change. Overall, this study highlights the significance of trauma in men’s experiences of concurrent substance use and intimate partner violence, contests the narratives proposed by the dominant discourses, and discusses implications for social work research, policy, and practice.

Convocation Year


Included in

Social Work Commons