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Recent Dev Alcohol. 1997;13:245-82.

Is there a causal relationship between alcohol use and violence? A synthesis of evidence.

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Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37212, USA.


This chapter reviews the evidence bearing on the question of whether those individuals who consume alcohol have an increased probability of subsequent violent behavior. Four bodies of relevant research are examined: experimental studies with animals, experimental studies with humans, individual-level correlational studies, and macro-level correlational studies. All these research approaches provide some evidence of an association between alcohol consumption and violent behavior, but no firm conclusion can be drawn about whether alcohol plays a causal role in such behavior. Various limitations, deficiencies, and ambiguities of available research that contribute to this state of affairs are discussed.

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