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 Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>