The overarching goal of this application is to advance a programmatic line of research investigating interventions for alcohol-related aggression toward underrepresented populations (e.g., women, sexual minorities) to serve as the foundation for a career in academia as an independent research scientist. The impetus for the proposed project is to address a call in the literature to test theoretically-based, ecologically- valid interventions for men's alcohol-related aggression toward women. It is well established that alcohol is a contributing cause of men's aggression toward women. However, only recently has research demonstrated that cognitively focused manipulations (e.g., cognitive distraction) are effective at reducing alcohol-related aggression. From these studies, researchers have proposed ecologically-valid interventions for alcohol-related aggression. However, before these interventions can be utilized in real-world settings (e.g., a bar), laboratory research must be conducted to test (1) whether these interventions are associated with less aggression toward women, (2) the cognitive mechanisms that account for this effect , and (3) in whom such an intervention will have the greatest impact. These limitations are significant barriers to the development of effective interventions for men's alcohol-related aggression toward women and speak to the critical need for data to inform the direction of prevention programming in this area. To address this need, the proposed study seeks to investigate the following specific aims: (1) the effect of a theoretically-based intervention on intoxicated at- risk men's physical aggression and cognitions toward a female confederate following a gender-relevant provocation from that female, (2) the impact of masculine gender role stress in this relation, and (3) whether men's cognitions mediate the interactive effect of the intervention and masculine gender role stress on intoxicated men's aggression. To address these aims, 74 heavy drinking men with a recent history of physical aggression toward women will present to the laboratory for two sessions to occur on two separate days. During session 1, participants will complete several self-report questionnaires. During session 2, participants will be randomly assigned to complete the study in a room equipped (or not equipped) with salient stimuli shown to inhibit aggression (e.g., mirrors, self-awareness slogans, security cameras), consume an alcoholic beverage that results in a BrAC of at least .08%, and receive a gender-relevant provocation from a female confederate. Directly thereafter, participants will complete the Taylor Aggression Paradigm which will directly measure their physical aggression toward the female confederate. Upon completion, participants will be asked via closed-circuit intercom to "talk out loud" about their thoughts and feelings into a microphone using a modified version of the Articulated Thoughts in Simulated Situations Paradigm. It is expected that these findings will inform and provide the impetus for future prevention research in the area of alcohol-related aggression that will serve to decrease this serious public health concern.
The proposed research is relevant to public health because it will provide the first data toward the construction of a theoretically-based, ecologically-valid intervention for at-risk men's alcohol- related aggression toward women. It is well established that alcohol is a contributing cause of men's aggression toward women which affects approximately 25% of women during their lifetime (NVAWS;Tjaden &Thoennes, 2000). We expect that findings from this study will inform and provide the impetus for future prevention research in this area that will serve to decrease this serious public health malady.