Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Not all forms of anger lead to alcohol-related aggression

15.12.2003


Men with high levels of cognitive and behavioral anger, and women with high levels of behavioral anger, are most at risk

  • The association among anger, alcohol and aggression is not as clear as it may first seem.

  • New research examines the effects of three components of anger: affective, cognitive and behavioral.

  • Behavioral anger contributes most to alcohol-related aggression among both men and women.

The association among anger, alcohol and aggression is not as clear as it may first seem. A study in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research that teases apart three different components of anger – affective, cognitive and behavioral – has found that it is behavioral anger that contributes the most to alcohol-related aggression among both men and women.



"We know that there’s a link between alcohol and aggression," said Peter R. Giancola, associate professor of psychology, director of the University of Kentucky Alcohol Research Laboratory, and first author of the study, "but does it occur it everybody? No, there are plenty of people who drink a lot and they get sleepy and happy, just as there are plenty of people who drink and they get out of control. That’s the obvious part. The not-so-obvious part is figuring out what predicts who will and who will not become aggressive when they drink. Where do we start? You might think that people who are generally more angry when they are sober are likely going to become more aggressive when they drink, however, there are plenty of people who are very angry when they are sober and they do not become aggressive when they drink."

Amos Zeichner, professor and director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Georgia, said the first step to understanding the relationship between anger and alcohol-related aggression is to recognize that there are different types of anger. "The term ’anger’ comprises the experience of feelings, thoughts, and behavioral aspects just as, for instance, the experience of ’pain’ has several components such as motivational, affective, sensory, and behavioral," he said.

Although aggression is a goal-directed behavior motivated by the desire to injure another person, anger refers to a set of feelings that are not motivated by any particular goal. Trait anger is believed to have three basic components: affective, referring to emotions such as annoyance, frustration or irritation; cognitive, characterized by cynicism and distrust; and behavioral, which is the more ’acting out’ component of anger, such as yelling or ’causing a scene’ in a public place.

For this study, researchers examined 300 healthy social drinkers (150 males, 150 females) between 21 and 35 years of age. First, they measured the participants’ three components of trait anger and then, following consumption of either an alcohol or a placebo beverage, measured their aggressive behavior within an experimental setting.

The results confirm previous findings that anger can be a risk factor for alcohol-related aggression, however, alcohol consumption does not increase aggression in all persons and in all situations. Alcohol-related aggression was greater among men with higher behavioral and cognitive anger scores, and among women with just higher behavioral anger scores.

"We know that women in society are, in general, less violent that men," noted Giancola. "Women tend to have a higher threshold for violence, which comes from society telling them to be good. In order to see violence occur in women, they either have to be environmentally provoked, a lot, or they have to be the type of person who, in the sober state, is already getting in your face, and knocking people around."

"The relationship among emotion, alcohol intoxication, and aggression is very complex," said Zeichner. "Try as we may, we cannot provide a neatly packaged formula to explain and predict intoxicated aggression. The interface between a situation one finds himself or herself in and one’s personality is comprised of a multitude of psychological and physiological events. We need to break down such complexities into their components in order to advance our understanding of human behavior, which is what Dr. Giancola’s work does."

"There are a lot of things that put people at risk for just about anything," added Giancola, "for heart disease, cancer, and violence under the influence of alcohol. However, just as there are a lot of things that will put individuals at risk, so too will a lot of things protect them. For example, if someone grew up in a loving home where they were taught how to control their anger, then maybe they will still grow up as an angry person, but they will have learned how to control it, how to regulate it, and will be less likely to display it. This could be considered a protective or preventive measure. Our job is to try and first discern those things that will put people at risk for violence under the influence of alcohol. What are the top five or 10 risk factors? How do they all work together? Once we’ve discovered this, then we can start implementing interventions and maybe even preventive measures."


Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) is the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. Co-authors of the ACER paper were Donald A. Saucier and Natasha L. Gussler-Burkhardt of the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Peter R. Giancola | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.alcoholism-cer.com/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>