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Behavioural indicators of motives for barroom aggression: Implications for preventing bar violence

Authors

  • KATHRYN GRAHAM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Social and Epidemiological Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
    3. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    4. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
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  • SHARON BERNARDS,

    1. Social and Epidemiological Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
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  • SAMANTHA WELLS,

    1. Social and Epidemiological Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
    2. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    3. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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  • D. WAYNE OSGOOD,

    1. Crime, Law, and Justice Program, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
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  • ANTONIA ABBEY,

    1. Psychology Department, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
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  • RICHARD B. FELSON,

    1. Crime, Law, and Justice Program, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
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  • ROBERT F. SALTZ

    1. Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, USA
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Kathryn Graham PhD, Senior Scientist, Section Head, Adjunct Research Professor, Associate Professor and Professor (Adjunct), Sharon Bernards MA, Research Coordinator, Samantha Wells PhD, Scientist, Adjunct Professor and Assistant Professor, D. Wayne Osgood PhD, Professor, Antonia Abbey PhD, Professor, Richard B. Felson PhD, Professor, Robert F. Saltz PhD, Senior Scientist and Associate Director. Dr Kathryn Graham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 100 Collip Circle, Suite 200, London, ON, Canada N6G 4X8. Tel: +1 519 858 5000; Fax: +1 519 858 5199; E-mail: kgraham@uwo.ca

Abstract

Introduction and Aims.To develop new strategies for preventing violence in high-risk licensed premises, we identify behavioural indicators of apparent motives for aggression in these settings and outline the implications of different motivations for prevention.

Design and Methods.The four types of motives for aggressive or coercive acts defined by the theory of coercive actions framed the research: gaining compliance, expressing grievances/restoring justice, attaining a favourable social identity and pursuing fun/excitement. Incidents of aggression from the Safer Bars evaluation research were analysed to identify behavioural indicators of each motivation.

Results.Compliance-motivated aggression typically takes the form of unwanted social overtures, third party intervention to stop conflicts or staff rule enforcement. Prevention strategies include keeping the aggressor's focus on compliance to avoid provoking grievance and identity motives that are likely to escalate aggression. Grievance motives are typically elicited by perceived wrongdoing and therefore prevention should focus on eliminating sources of grievances and adopting policies/practices to resolve grievances peacefully. Social identity motives are endemic to many drinking establishments especially among male patrons and staff. Prevention involves reducing identity cues in the environment, hiring staff who do not have identity concerns, and training staff to avoid provoking identity concerns. Aggression motivated by fun/excitement often involves low-level aggression where escalation can be prevented by avoiding grievances and attacks on identity.

Discussion and Conclusions.Knowledge of behavioural indicators of motives can be used to enhance staff hiring and training practices, reduce environmental triggers for aggression, and develop policies to reduce motivation for aggression.[Graham K, Bernards S, Wells S, Osgood DW, Abbey A, Felson RB, Saltz RF. Behavioural indicators of motives for barroom aggression: Implications for preventing bar violence. Drug Alcohol Rev 2011;30:554–563]

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