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Gender differences in 16-year trends in assault- and police-related problems due to drinking.

Timko C, Moos BS, Moos RH. Gender differences in 16-year trends in assault- and police-related problems due to drinking. Addictive Behaviors. 2009 Sep 1; 34(9):744-50.

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This study examined the frequency and predictors of physical assault and having trouble with the police due to drinking over 16 years among women and men who, at baseline, were untreated for their alcohol use disorder. Predictors examined were the personal characteristics of impulsivity, self-efficacy, and problem-solving and emotional-discharge coping, as well as outpatient treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) participation. Women and men were similar on rates of perpetrating assault due to drinking, but men were more likely to have had trouble with the police due to drinking. Respondents who, at baseline, were more impulsive and relied more on emotional discharge coping, and less on problem-solving coping, assaulted others more frequently during the first year of follow-up. Similarly, less problem-solving coping at baseline was related to having had trouble with the police more often at one and 16 years due to drinking. The association between impulsivity and more frequent assault was stronger for women, whereas associations of self-efficacy and problem-solving coping with less frequent assault and police trouble were stronger for men. Participation in AA was also associated with a lower likelihood of having trouble with the police at one year, especially for men. Interventions aimed at decreasing impulsivity and emotional discharge coping, and bolstering self-efficacy and problem-solving coping, during substance abuse treatment, and encouragement to become involved in AA, may be helpful in reducing assaultive and other illegal behaviors.

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