Alcohol-Related, Drug-Related, and Non–Substance-Related Aggression: 3 Facets of a Single Construct or 3 Distinct Constructs?

David S. Chester, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Grace Chan, Chella Kamarajan, Ashwini K. Pandey, Leah Wetherill, John R. Kramer, John I. Nurnberger, Jessica E. Salvatore, Danielle M. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Aggression often occurs alongside alcohol and drug misuse. However, it is not clear whether the latent and manifest relations among alcohol-related, drug-related, and non–substance-related aggression are separate manifestations of a single construct or instead are 3 distinct constructs. Methods: To examine these associations, we conducted a preregistered analysis of 13,490 participants in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. In a structured interview, participants reported their lifetime perpetration of these 3 aggression phenotypes. Results: The data were better fit by a model that treated these aggression phenotypes as 3 distinct latent factors, as compared to models in which the items all loaded onto 1 (“general”) or 2 (“substance-related” and “non–substance-related”) aggression factors. This 3-factor model fit better for men than women. Subsequent exploratory analyses then showed that among these 3 factors, alcohol-related aggression explained the variance of overall aggression better than the other 2 factors. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that these 3 forms of aggression are distinct phenotypes (especially among men). Yet, people’s alcohol-related aggression can accurately characterize their overall aggressive tendencies across these domains. Future research will benefit from articulating the unique and shared pathways and risk factors underlying each of these facets of aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1852-1861
Number of pages10
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume44
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Alcohol Misuse
  • Alcohol-Related Aggression
  • Drug-Related Aggression
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol-Related, Drug-Related, and Non–Substance-Related Aggression: 3 Facets of a Single Construct or 3 Distinct Constructs?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Chester, D. S., Bucholz, K. K., Chan, G., Kamarajan, C., Pandey, A. K., Wetherill, L., Kramer, J. R., Nurnberger, J. I., Salvatore, J. E., & Dick, D. M. (2020). Alcohol-Related, Drug-Related, and Non–Substance-Related Aggression: 3 Facets of a Single Construct or 3 Distinct Constructs? Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 44(9), 1852-1861. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14412