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 Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>