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Alcohol and aggression: An integration of findings from experimental studies

Authors
Journal
Journal of Criminal Justice
0047-2352
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
34
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2006.01.008

Abstract

Abstract Correlational studies had uncovered a relationship between alcohol consumption and violent criminal behavior; however, as these studies had typically suffered from weak internal validity, they had left doubt as to the causal influence of alcohol on violence. This article seeks to complement the correlational research by reviewing the experimental literature on alcohol and interpersonal aggression. The dominant experimental paradigms are reviewed, and a synthesis of findings from seven published meta-analytic studies is presented. Conclusions from the experimental literature affirm the popular belief that alcohol consumption increases aggressive behavior. This effect is not uniform, however, and is instead moderated by factors commonly found in real-world accounts of intoxicated violence. Theoretical explanations for the alcohol/violence link are discussed, and suggestions for future research are presented.

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