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8th International Conference on Addictive Disorders and Alcoholism

Singapore City, singapore

Spencer D. Li

Spencer D. Li

Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau, China

Title: Understanding the links among alcohol use, aggression and violence among chinese adolescents


Biography: Spencer D. Li


Statement of the Problem: Past research has shown that alcohol use, aggression and violence are some of the most commonly observed delinquent activities among Chinese adolescents. Despite their high prevalence, the relationship among the three types of delinquent behavior in Chinese adolescent population has not been well understood. It is not known if alcohol use is similarly related to aggression and violence or if the relation varies by type of behavior and level of use. This study aims to answer these questions. This study first identifies the risk profiles of Chinese adolescents who used alcohol and perpetrated aggressive or violent acts. It then assesses the interrelationship among alcohol use, aggression and violence.

Spencer D Li is a Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Macau. His research interests include juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, child development and sociology of religion. He has served as a Principal Investigator on several publicly and privately funded projects related to juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and corrections, including grants from the US National Institutes of Health, US Administration for Children and Families and Social Welfare Bureau of Macao Special Administrative Region Government. His publications have appeared in several major academic journals, including Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Evaluation Review and Journal of Early Adolescence.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Survey data are collected from a multi-stage, stratified probability sample of 3,407 students who attended secondary schools in one of the largest metropolitan areas in China. Regression analyses are conducted to test the relationships among alcohol use, aggression and violence. It is posited that the impact of alcohol use on aggression and violence is resulted from an impaired capacity to attend to the instigative and inhibitory cues in situations conducive to aggression or violence.

Findings: Frequency of alcohol use is positively related to both aggressive and violent behavior although it is more strongly related to violence. Frequency of heavy drinking, which is the form of alcohol use known to reduce situational inhibition of violent impulses, predicts violence but not aggression.

Conclusion & Significance: Alcohol use appears to increase aggressive and violent behaviors among Chinese adolescents. Policy aimed at reducing adolescent involvement in aggression and violence should consider limiting underage drinking through promoting prevention programs and setting legal restrictions on adolescent alcohol use.