People who suppress anger are more likely to become violent when drunk

Jun 21, 2010

A study published today in the journal Addiction reveals that drunkenness increases the risk for violent behaviour, but only for individuals with a strong inclination to suppress anger.

The two authors, Thor Norström and Hilde Pape, applied an approach that reduces the risk of drawing erroneous conclusions about cause and effect. They conclude that their study adds to the body of evidence suggesting that drinking may in fact inflict . The authors elaborate this conclusion: "Only a tiny fraction of all drinking events involve violence and whether intoxicated aggression is likely to occur seems to depend on the drinkers' propensity to withhold angry feelings when sober."

The study is based on self-reported data from a general population survey of young people in Norway. Nearly 3000 individuals were assessed twice, first at 16-17 years of age and again at ages 21-22. The participants were divided into 3 equally large groups with respect to anger suppression. Among individuals who reported a high inclination to suppress feelings of , a 10% increase in drinking to the point of intoxication was associated with a 5% increase in violence. Researchers observed no such association among those who did not habitually suppress their angry feelings.

Explore further: Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety and serotonin transmission

More information: Norström T. and Pape H. Alcohol, suppressed anger and violence. Addiction 2010; 105: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.02997.x

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows the upside of anger

Mar 26, 2008

Here’s a maxim from the “duh” department: People typically prefer to feel emotions that are pleasant, like excitement, and avoid those that are unpleasant, like anger.

Angry? Breathing Beats Venting

Feb 28, 2007

While it is a common assumption that an angry person needs to blow off steam or risk going through the roof, research in psychology shows just the opposite. According to University of Arkansas psychologist Jeffrey M. Lohr, ...

Men More Prone to Maladies When Mad

Feb 03, 2006

If you're a male who has trouble controlling your temper, you might find yourself in the hospital the next time you get angry. After interviewing people who had been seriously injured, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mysticshakra
not rated yet Jun 21, 2010
Another article from the planet of the blatantly obvious. These guys need a real job.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.