The sins of the father revisited in the bar


Brawls in bar rooms amongst the inebriated men… Alcohol-related aggression is involved in about half of all assaults. Not only that, and perhaps not surprisingly, alcohol-related aggression is most likely among young males and usually in a bar. It is clear that heavy drinking can lead to male-to-male alcohol-related aggression (look, it gets its own set of initials: MMARA), a new study is the first to look at how the father-son relationship, particularly negative relationships, influences MMARA.

Alcohol makes perpetrators and victims

“Alcohol affects people in a number of predictable ways which make it more likely that they will become involved in aggressive incidents,” said Peter G. Miller, associate professor of psychology at Deakin University. “They become focused on the moment, have poorer decision-making skills, and interpret social situations incorrectly. All of which mean they are more likely to be both perpetrators and victims of violence.”

Boys being boys – but really bad boys

“These findings may further explain the link between masculinity and male violence;; that is boys who experience violence in the home at the hands of their fathers may react by embracing extreme versions of masculinity as a way of gaining a sense of power,” said Samantha Wells, a scientist at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health. “In this way the cycle of violence continues. But what is important there is the suggestion that the cycle of violence extends into social behavior in a bar setting. This finding confirms that male aggression in bars is not simply ‘boys being boys’ – it’s troubled boys being anti-social and harming others.”

Negative fathering a strong predictor for future violence

When fathers are indifferent, lack emotional attachment or concern for the child, when they abuse, shame and belittle their child, and overcontrol, they are negative fathering. Miller’s research team, through online surveys, found that negative fathering was a significant predictor of MMARA. Miller hopes that clinicians can better identify those at risk and prevention campaigns can be mounted to address negative fathering and future aggressive behavior.

Siource: MedicalNewsToday, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research


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