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Understanding Men's Aggression in Bars: Development of the Beliefs and Attitudes toward Male Alcohol-Related Aggression (BAMARA) Inventory

Authors

  • Samantha Wells,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
    2. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Ontario, Canada
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  • Paul F. Tremblay,

    1. Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
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  • Kathryn Graham

    1. Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Ontario, Canada
    2. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3. Department of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
    4. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • The views expressed here reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care or the CIHR.

Reprint requests: Samantha Wells, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 100 Collip Circle, Suite 200, London, ON N6G 4X8, Canada; Tel.: 519-858-5010 ext. 22001; Fax: 519-858-5199; E-mail: samantha_wells@camh.net

Abstract

Background

While several qualitative studies suggest that beliefs and attitudes are important in explaining men's alcohol-related aggression, no quantitative instrument measuring men's beliefs and attitudes about male alcohol-related aggression has been developed. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a theoretically based multidimensional inventory measuring Beliefs and Attitudes toward Male Alcohol-Related Aggression (BAMARA) consisting of 9 dimensions: (i) expected negative consequences; (ii) expected positive consequences; (iii) personal approval; (iv) perceived male peer approval; (v) perceived female peer approval; (vi) perceived normality; (vii) relaxed norms when drinking; (viii) alcohol as an excuse; and (ix) male honor/protection of masculinity.

Methods

A random sample of 1,343 young adult male college and university students participated in an online survey. Item analyses using confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) and item-response theory (IRT) procedures were conducted to select a refined pool of items promoting high internal consistency and discriminant validity of the 9 scales. We evaluated the criterion validity of the 9 scales, the BAMARA total score (BAMARA-Total), and a short form of the inventory (BAMARA-SF) in terms of their association with experiences of barroom aggression and other theoretically linked constructs.

Results

CFA and IRT analyses resulted in a 53-item inventory consisting of the 9 scales with adequate model fit and good internal consistency indices. Criterion validity was demonstrated, with the BAMARA scales correlating well with reports of actual experiences of aggression in bars. BAMARA-Total and BAMARA-SF were found to be significantly associated with barroom aggression controlling for a number of important control variables.

Conclusions

This new instrument is expected to have many important applications in the male aggression literature, with the full BAMARA being employed for the assessment of specific beliefs and attitudes and the BAMARA-SF used as a general attitudinal measure.

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