Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Cathy Lau-Barraco

Committee Member

Michelle Kelley

Committee Member

Richard Landers


Research has extensively investigated predictors of alcohol-related aggression. Alcohol expectancy theory suggests that the link between alcohol and aggression may be related to one's beliefs regarding the expected effects of alcohol on aggression. As such, research has found that exposure to a bar environment may elicit alcohol-related aggression expectancies (Wall, McKee, & Hinson, 2000; Wall, McKee, Hinson, & Goldstein, 2001). Additionally, aggression expectancies have shown to predict direct aggression, such as hitting or yelling (Leonard, Collins, & Quigley, 2003; Smucker Barnwell, Borders, & Earlywine, 2006). While these research studies have shown separately that alcohol cues elicit aggression expectancies, and that expectancies may elicit direct aggression, these relationships have not yet been examined in a single experimental design. Additionally, indirect aggression has recently been identified in the literature as a subtype of aggression (see Archer & Coyne, 2005 for a review). Limited research suggests that indirect aggression may be elicited by alcohol cue words. However, the impact of alcohol-related cues on indirect aggression via alcohol-related aggression expectancies has yet to be examined. Consequently, the present study sought: 1) to experimentally test the influence of an alcohol-relevant context (i.e., simulated bar vs. neutral context) on forms of aggression (i.e., direct and indirect aggression), while controlling for dispositional aggression, 2) to test alcohol-related aggression expectancies as a mediator of the influence of alcohol-related context on forms of aggression, and 3) to test typical drinking as a potential moderator of the relationship between alcohol-relevant context and forms of aggression. Participants were 48 undergraduate student drinkers. Results indicated that the simulated bar condition failed to elicit aggression expectancies as well as direct and indirect aggression. As the present study failed to attain the sample size determined by a priori power analyses, future research should strive to attain adequate sample size to determine the true relationships among these variables.


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