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Title: A study of aggressive interpretative bias in opiate-dependent and opiate-abstinent men
Author: Coyle, J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2005
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The relationship between drug abuse and human aggression is complex and costly. A better understanding of it could inform treatment approaches. This thesis aims to explore the relationship and specifically focuses on the opiate-aggression association. Part 1 of the thesis comprises a literature review of the drug-aggression relationship. It presents an overview of drug use and aggression, outlines a model to understand the association and subsequently looks at the relationship in terms of different drugs of dependence. Finally a summary is given which identifies paucity in the investigation of psychological mechanisms which may underlie the drug-aggression relationship. Part 2 comprises the empirical paper. It reports a novel investigation into the perception of aggressive content in ambiguous information to determine whether increased aggression in dependent drug users may be related to an aggressive interpretative bias. The study compared 21 opiate-dependent, 21 opiate- abstinent and 22 healthy unemployed controls. It found that opiate users showed a bias away from aggressive and towards neutral interpretations. This may mean that opiate users may perceive potentially aggressive information benignly and this could make them more prone to engaging in risk situations and behaviours. Part 3 comprises a critical appraisal of the research and comments on both my experience of conducting the research and on validity issues within the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available