Impulsivity, social problem solving and alcohol dependency as contributors to aggression in a sample of provincially incarcerated offenders
Numerous cognitive, personality and situational factors have been found to be related to aggression. Understanding how these factors interrelate is essential to predicting violence and critical to the assessment and treatment of offenders with violent histories. Previous research has suggested a potential role for social problem solving as a mediator between impulsivity and aggression (McMurran et al., 2002). Additionally, it is well established that aggression is more likely to occur in the context of alcohol use (Collins, 1993; Reiss & Roth, 1993; Lipsey, Wilson, Cohen & Derzon 1997). Based on existing literature, a model of aggression was developed involving impulsivity, social problem solving and alcohol dependency. Utilizing path analysis with multiple regression, a mediational model of aggression was assessed on a sample of 179 provincially incarcerated offenders, 87% of whom were Aboriginal and 45% of whom had a previous conviction of domestic abuse. The data suggest that social problem solving, alcohol dependency and impulsivity are all important in understanding and predicting aggression. Social problem solving does not appear to act as a mediator in the relationship between impulsivity and aggression, although preliminary results suggest that impulsivity, may serve the function in this relationship and in the manifestation of aggression. The implications of these findings for our understanding about human factors contributing to aggression and for further advancement of treatment programs are provided.
Impulsivity, Alcohol Use, Social problem solving, Offenders, Aggression
Master of Arts (M.A.)