Antisocial personality disorder, alcohol, and aggression

F. Gerard Moeller, Donald M. Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Epidemiologic studies and laboratory research consistently link alcohol use with aggression. Not all people, however, exhibit increased aggression under the influence of alcohol. Recent research suggests that people with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) may be more prone to alcohol-related aggression than people without ASPD. As a group, people with ASPD have higher rates of alcohol dependence and more alcohol-related problems than people without ASPD. Likewise, in laboratory studies, people with ASPD show greater increases in aggressive behavior after consuming alcohol than people without ASPD. The association between ASPD and alcohol-related aggression may result from biological factors, such as ASPD-related impairments in the functions of certain brain chemicals (e.g., serotonin) or in the activities of higher reasoning, or "executive," brain regions. Alternatively, the association between ASPD and alcohol-related aggression may stem from some as yet undetermined factor(s) that increase the risk for aggression in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • AODR (alcohol or other drug [AOD] related) behavioral problem
  • AODR violence
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Disinhibition theory of AODU
  • Expectancy theory of AODU (AOD use, abuse, and dependence)
  • Personality trait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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