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Trauma Violence Abuse. 2016 Dec;17(5):520-531. Epub 2015 May 24.

The Proximal Effects of Acute Alcohol Consumption on Male-to-Female Aggression: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Experimental Literature.

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Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.


The current meta-analytic review examined the experimental literature to quantify the causal effect of acute alcohol consumption on self-reported and observed indicators of male-to-female general, sexual, and intimate partner aggression. Database and reference list searches yielded 22 studies conducted between 1981 and 2014 that met all criteria for inclusion and that were subjected to full text coding for analysis. Results detected a significant overall effect (d = .36), indicating that male participants who consumed alcohol evidenced greater aggressive behavior toward females while completing a subsequent laboratory aggression paradigm than male participants who received no alcohol. We found homogeneity across all categories of potential moderator variables. Results further indicated that alcohol resulted in comparable increases of male-to-female sexual (d = .32) and intimate partner (d = .45) aggression. Further research is required to draw meaningful conclusions about individual and situational factors that may interact with acute alcohol consumption to produce the highest levels of risk.


alcohol; experiment; intimate partner aggression; meta-analysis; sexual aggression

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