Longitudinal perspective on alcohol use and aggression during adolescence

Recent Dev Alcohol. 1997;13:81-103. doi: 10.1007/0-306-47141-8_5.


While there is general agreement that alcohol use and aggression are related, few studies have examined this relationship among youth. This chapter reviews the literature on rates of alcohol use, aggression, and alcohol-related aggression among adolescents, as well as the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations among these behaviors. In general, the literature does not provide strong support for a unique association between alcohol use and aggressive behavior during adolescence. The observed relationship between alcohol use and aggression appears to be spurious because both behaviors are predicted by a similar set of individual, family, and environmental factors. Prevention programs that reduce these common risk factors should decrease both behaviors. Interventions with aggressive individuals, especially aggressive individuals who drink heavily, may be most indicated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*