Title

Self-Focused Attention Reduces Self-Injurious Behavior in Alcohol-Intoxicated Men

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Both chronic alcohol use and acute intoxication are risk factor for self-aggression (i.e., intentional self-injury) across the spectrum of lethality. Studies designed to identify a cause-and-effect relation between alcohol intoxication and self-aggression, or the factors that facilitate or mitigate this effect, are rare due to the inherent difficulty of studying self-injurious behavior experimentally. In this study, we experimentally demonstrate that alcohol intoxication leads to heightened self-injurious behavior and that enhanced self-focused attention (self-awareness) attenuates this effect. Specifically, 40 men consumed either alcohol (mean Blood Alcohol Concentration [BAC] = .10) or a veridical control drink, and then completed a laboratory task designed to assess self-injurious behavior Self-focused attention was experimentally enhanced in half the participants in each drink condition. Results support the notion that prevention and intervention programs designed to reduce intentional self-injurious behaviors should include components that address alcohol misuse and self-awareness.

Publication Title

Substance Use & Misuse

Volume

44

Issue

41527

First Page

1280

Last Page

1297