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

June 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.

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Plan ahead for successful aging, researcher says

October 20, 2016

For many people, the prospect of aging is scary and uncomfortable, but Florida State University Assistant Professor Dawn Carr says that research reveals a few tips that can improve our chances of a long, healthy life.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.