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Football & Family Violence

April 12, 2011

A new study finds a relationship between the timing of unexpected home team losses and domestic violence.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Football and family violence…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

New research suggests that unexpected losses by a local football team are associated with an increase in family violence. Economists David Card of U.C. Berkeley and Gordon Dahl of U.C. San Diego analyzed data from the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System. They found that the rate of male violence against a female partner went up in the final hour of NFL games when the home team experienced an upset loss, and in the two hours afterwards.

DAVID CARD (University of California, Berkeley):

And the increase is fairly large, it’s around 10 or 12% elevation in the rate of family violence, which is about the same kind of elevation that you get on a very very hot day.

HIRSHON:

This adds to previous research showing that domestic violence goes up on Superbowl Sunday and on holidays when drinking is common, like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.