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Motivational drive and alprazolam misuse: a recipe for aggression?

journal contribution
posted on 2016-06-30, 00:00 authored by B Albrecht, Petra StaigerPetra Staiger, Kate HallKate Hall, Nicolas KambouropoulosNicolas Kambouropoulos, D Best
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.

History

Journal

Psychiatry research

Volume

240

Pagination

381 - 389

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0165-1781

eISSN

1872-7123

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier Ireland Ltd.