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Research: Hot weather helps drive violence

PHOENIX — It’s going to be another excessively hot day. Several studies suggest that on days like today, the levels of violence and aggression rise in households.

A University of Missouri study stated, “one can be fairly sure that hot temperatures do have a direct effect on aggression.”

Another study from Iowa State University stated, “Hot temperatures can increase aggressive motives and behaviors … Hot temperatures increase aggression by directly increasing feelings of hostility and indirectly increasing aggressive thoughts.”

“It’s pretty rare to have a domestic-violence homicide where there weren’t previous instances of domestic violence even if nobody knew about it,” said Stephanie Mayer, project manager with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“It’s more important to contextualize this in the ways that people are actualizing experiencing their own relationships than as far as these environmental factors that we want to look at,” said Mayer.

She said looking at triggers distracts from who is responsible for the act and risks losing sight of what’s really important, which is the violence that can turn deadly.

According to numbers from the coalition, last year there were 103 domestic violence related deaths in the state. That’s an average of one every three to four days.