New Study to Examine Relationship between Anger and Alcohol Abuse

Oct 30, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Research suggests that alcoholics are more likely to experience emotions such as annoyances, frustrations and anger compared to non-alcoholics.

A new study at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) will investigate these anger emotions and how they might be addressed in outpatient alcoholism treatment. In this study, researchers will develop a treatment specifically focused on anger management for use with individuals with drinking problems and will then examine the effects of the new treatment protocol in a pilot clinical trial.

The study is funded by a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and will run through 2013.

"We have seen that alcoholics score higher on various measures of anger emotions than non-alcoholics," explained Kimberly S. Walitzer, Ph.D., lead investigator on the study. "Furthermore, anger emotions can play a role in relapse to drinking following a period of abstinence from alcohol use. If we can help individuals to manage anger emotions differently, we should be able to help them cope in different ways other than drinking."

Walitzer is a senior research scientist and deputy director of RIA, as well as research associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Walitzer's research team includes two senior research scientists at RIA. Paul R. Stasiewicz, Ph.D. is director of RIA's Clinical Research Center and research associate professor in UB's Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Gerard J. Connors, Ph.D. is RIA's director, professor in the Department of Psychology and research professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The Research Institute on Addictions has been a national leader in the study of addictions since 1970 and a research center of the University at Buffalo since 1999.

Provided by University at Buffalo

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