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J Stud Alcohol. 1988 May;49(3):211-8.

Alcoholics, aggression and antisocial personality.

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NIDA-Addiction Research Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21224.


This study investigated relationships among antisocial personality (ASP) disorder, a childhood history of aggressive behavior and violent behavior in a sample of 77 hospitalized alcoholics. Patients classified according to childhood aggression (high, low) and ASP (present, absent) were compared using self-report measures of anger, aggression, depression, well-being and sociability. Items measuring these variables were rated in terms of the patients' typical behavior while drinking and while sober. Alcoholics reported more anger and aggression when drinking than when sober and this effect was greatest among individuals with a history of childhood aggression. ASP accounted for negligible amounts of the variance when the effects of childhood aggression were considered independently. Results indicate that both alcohol consumption and childhood antecedents contribute to the manifestation of violent behavior by alcoholics.

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