Difficult temperament, acute alcohol intoxication, and aggressive behavior.

TitleDifficult temperament, acute alcohol intoxication, and aggressive behavior.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Date Published2004

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of a difficult temperament on alcohol-related aggression in men and women. Subjects were 330 (164 men and 166 women) healthy social drinkers between 21 and 35 years of age. Temperament was measured using the dimensions of temperament survey-revised (DOTS-R). Following the consumption of either an alcohol or a placebo beverage, subjects were tested on a modified version of the Taylor aggression paradigm in which mild electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent during a competitive task. Aggressive behavior was operationalized as the shock intensities administered to the fictitious opponent under conditions of low and high provocation. Of all the variables, provocation was the strongest elicitor of aggression. Overall, a difficult temperament was positively related to the aggression for all subjects. The finding of greatest importance was that alcohol only increased aggression for men with a difficult temperament. The results highlight the fact that alcohol consumption does not increase aggression in all persons and in all situations. An important goal for future research is to identify which individual difference and which contextual factors are most important in determining who will, and who will not, behave in an aggressive manner when intoxicated.

Short TitleDrug Alcohol Depend
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