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Patterns of Alcohol Use Among Violent and Nonviolent Offenders

NCJ Number
R F Ripa; D Bohac; G Smith; D Ullman
Date Published
12 pages
This study examined the relationship between violence and the regular pattern of alcohol use, pattern of use prior to commission of the crime, and subjective response to alcohol in 19 assaultive and 19 nonassaultive offenders.
Subjects were interviewed using structured alcohol consumption indices. The groups did not differ in terms of their day-to-day use or the probability that they were under the influence when committing the crime. However, the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate of consumption prior to the crime was estimated as significantly greater by the assaultive than the nonassaultive subjects. In addition, assaultive subjects reported a greater subjective response to alcohol across all but one of the indices. Results suggest that assaultive offenders may experience greater affective change and behavioral impairment as a result of alcohol consumption. These individual differences in response may be accentuated by their greater alcohol consumption prior to committing crime. 3 tables and 5 references.