Motivational drive and alprazolam misuse : a recipe for aggression?

ALBRECHT, Bonnie, STAIGER, Petra K., HALL, Kate, KAMBOUROPOULOS, Nicolas and BEST, David (2016). Motivational drive and alprazolam misuse : a recipe for aggression? Psychiatry Research, 240, 381-389.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.040


Benzodiazepine-related aggression has received insufficient research attention, in particular little is known about the motivational factors which may contribute to the development of this paradoxical response. The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory provides a theoretical framework from which to understand the relevant underlying motivational processes. The current study aimed to identify the role of approach and avoidance motivational tendencies in the occurrence of benzodiazepine-related aggression. Data regarding benzodiazepine and other substance use, approach and avoidance motivation, and general and physical aggressive behaviour were collected via self-report questionnaires. Participants were a convenience sample (n=204) who reported using benzodiazepines in the previous year. Participants were primarily male (62.7%), aged 18–51 years old. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that general and physical aggression were predicted by alprazolam use and Drive, a facet of approach motivation. Overall, lower diazepam use significantly predicted higher levels of general aggression. However, when diazepam-preferring participants were examined in isolation of the larger sample (23.5% of sample), problematic (dependent) diazepam use was associated with greater aggression scores, as was dependence risk for alprazolam-preferring participants (39.7% of sample). The findings highlight the importance of motivational factors and benzodiazepine use patterns in understanding benzodiazepine-related aggression, with implications for violent offender rehabilitation.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Law and Criminology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.040
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 06 May 2016 09:09
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 21:32

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