Background: The relationship between the use of alcohol and aggression is complex and represents major public health issues. Delving into the nature of this association is vital, since various underlying factors may contribute to the expression of aggression. Objective: This study examined trait aggression by assessing correlates and, subsequently, the unique contribution of alcohol craving, and dysfunctional impulsivity, by means of correlational and mediational analyses. Methods: Forty inpatient detoxified alcohol-dependent patients were recruited. These participants completed the Desire for Alcohol Questionnaire (DAQ), Dickman Impulsivity Inventory (DII), and the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Results: The findings indicated that aggression, dysfunctional impulsivity, and alcohol craving were all positively intercorrelated. The association between dysfunctional impulsivity and aggression was robust. The mediational analyses yielded that craving partially mediated this relationship, although not very substantial. Conclusion: It was shown that impulsivity, as a personality characteristic, is strongly associated with aggressive behaviors, whereby the impact of craving on the relationship between impulsivity and trait aggression in alcohol-dependent inpatients was weak. Scientific Significance: Since it has been posited that factors such as impulsivity and craving may contribute to the lucid association between substance use and aggression, these findings mirror previous research on stimulant users and, subsequently, substantiates that craving exerts only a minor weight on the strong impulsivity-aggression relationship.

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American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Department of Psychiatry

Roozen, H., van de Wetering, B., & Franken, I. (2013). Does alcohol craving mediate the impulsivity-aggression relationship in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients?. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 39(1), 57–60. doi:10.3109/00952990.2012.677888