Current directions in research on understanding and preventing intoxicated aggression

Authors

  • Kathryn Graham,

  • Kenneth E. Leonard,

  • Robin Room,

  • T. Cameron Wild,

  • Robert O. Pihl,

  • Christine Bois,

  • Eric Single


Abstract

The present paper describes promising research directions that emerged from a recent international conference on intoxication and aggression and from the scientific literature generally. In this overview, intoxicated aggression is seen as arising from an interactional process involving multiple contributing factors or causes. This model helps to define research directions that can further understanding and prevention. First, the societal/cultural framing of intoxication and aggression exerts a powerful influence on drinking behaviour and needs to be better understood. Another important area for research is the moderating role on alcoholrelated aggression of personal factors such as predisposition to aggression and individual differences in expectations about alcohol and aggression. Research on the role of basic pharmacological effects of alcohol in increasing the likelihood of aggressive behaviour is also a critical aspect of understanding intoxicated aggression. Drinking contexts and environments play a considerable role in the relationship between intoxication and aggressive behaviour and need to be better understood. Another critical direction for future research is the study of intoxicated aggression as a process involving the interaction of the person, the situation and the effects of alcohol in natural and experimental settings. Finally, the paper highlights promising directions for research on interventions to prevent intoxicated aggression and violence.

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