Why men with high levels of anger and low anger control should not drink alcohol
- Trait anger is a tendency to experience frequent and intense episodes of anger.
- Individuals with high levels of trait anger, along with low levels of anger control, are likely to commit alcohol-related aggression.
- Researchers suggest these individuals refrain from alcohol consumption.
Despite its powerful pharmacological effects on the central nervous system, alcohol does not facilitate aggression in all persons or in all situations. Trait anger – a tendency to experience frequent and intense episodes of anger – has already been identified as a risk factor for alcohol-related aggression. Yet possessing high levels of trait anger does not necessarily guarantee that an intoxicated individual will become aggressive when provoked. A study in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research finds that a persons inability to control the outward expression of their anger plays a key role in alcohol-related aggression.
"Our previous research showed that men with high levels of trait anger are most at risk for becoming violent when they drink," said Peter R. Giancola, associate professor of psychology, director of the University of Kentucky Alcohol Research Laboratory, and corresponding author for the study. "This study adds to that by showing that the combination of high trait anger and low anger control even further increases your risk."
"This topic is exceedingly relevant as, generally, alcohol intoxication co-occurs with violence in approximately half of all rapes, murders and assaults, including family violence," added Robert O. Pihl, professor psychology and psychiatry at McGill University. "The significance of this correlation is typically ignored by society, possibly because the nature of the relationship remains argumentative. This study and others like it are slowly illuminating the mechanisms and vulnerabilities involved in the alcohol/aggression relationship."
Researchers examined 164 healthy male social drinkers (159 Caucasians, 5 African Americans) between the ages of 21 and 35 years who were recruited through local advertisements and paid for their participation. Trait anger and anger control were assessed with the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Participants were given either an alcoholic (1g/kg alcohol) or a placebo beverage, and then participated in a laboratory aggression task.
Higher levels of trait anger were associated with increased aggression, but only among men who were intoxicated and also reported low levels of anger control.
"Most if not all individuals who drink and drink heavily do so without becoming violent," said Pihl. "Thus, the phenomenon invariably involves an alcohol effect, plus a specific type of situation, and the inability to deal with that situation. The Giancola paper suggests that the inability to control anger is an important factor in the equation. For individuals who fit the characteristics described by Giancola, drinking during emotionally provocative situations de facto is a license to aggress. Just like in the case of driving, this is a time these individuals should avoid alcohol. Further, these individuals might be wise to avail themselves of numerous intervention programs specifically designed to enhance anger control."
Giancola added "research indicates that alcohol increases aggression by reducing fear, increasing arousal, and impairing cognitive functioning. However, being in this disinhibited state does not mean that one will necessarily become aggressive," he said. "They might also become more talkative, jovial, or sexual." The over-arching aim of his entire research program, said Giancola, is to determine what factors are most important in increasing ones risk for intoxicated aggression.
"Once these risk factors are identified, we will attempt to prevent them in children," he said.
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...