Project: Research project

Project Details


This application proposes to study the effects of alcohol on aggressive responding using both female and male subjects under controlled laboratory conditions. In the past, researchers have avoided female subjects in pharmacological studies because of the unknown interactions between experimental drugs and extraneous biological changes accompanying the female's menstrual cycle. In the few studies that have used females, some aggression researchers have suggested that males and females may differ in both their response to provocation and to the effects of alcohol. This research will systematically investigate the effects of menstrual cycle phase, dose of alcohol, and possible interactions between these two variables on aggressive responding in females. The proposed studies will also allow some comparisons to be made between female and male aggression. Specifically, these studies will help identify some of the environmental factors responsible for precipitating aggressive responding in both female and male subjects. The specific aims of these laboratory studies are to: (1) examine the effects of menstrual cycle phase on aggressive rresponding; (2) examine the effects of different doses of alcohol on aggressive responding in females; (3) examine interaction effects between menstrual cycle and alcohol dose on aggressive responding; (4) examine differences between females reporting either severe or mild menstrual symptoms on aggressive responding; and (5) examine gender differences in both the frequency of aggressive and escape responding. The results from these studies will aid in the future development of other laboratory paradigms and procedures for testing female subjects. In a broader context, the results from these laboratory studies will help in the understanding of the conditions in which alcohol leads to aggression. Also, the further refinement of laboratory procedures may also lead to assessment techniques tonidentify populations at risk and to make predictions about future probability of aggressive behaviors in the "real world". This information will identify factors in the relationship between alcohol and violence -- particularly as they relate to females.
Effective start/end date7/1/956/30/01


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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