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Fanshawe males targeted for study

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | March 16th, 2009



Does alcohol disinhibit?

The Research Ethics Boards (REBs) at the University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have assembled an online survey targeting young men currently attending a post-secondary institution.

The survey will identify the beliefs and attitudes men possess when drinking and aggression collide.

“The main purpose of this study is to develop a questionnaire that accurately assesses the full range of young men's beliefs about fighting when drinking, “said Samantha Wells Assistant Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario and Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Fanshawe College and Western have randomly selected 1,250 male students between the ages of 19-25. Each male subject received an invitation e-mail message and three subsequent reminder e-mails requesting they participate in the survey.

The male students who partake in the survey will receive $20 for their participation.

“We chose this age group because alcohol-related aggression is highest in this population,” she said.

Scientists have determined that violence occurs largely among adolescent and young adult males, who tend to have high levels of testosterone compared with the general population. Young men who exhibit antisocial behaviours often “burn out” with age, becoming less aggressive when they reach their forties.

By that age, testosterone concentrations are decreasing, while serotonin concentrations are increasing, both factors that tend to restrain violent behaviour.

According to Wells, all responses to the questionnaire are completely anonymous. Responses will be entered into a secure website and placed in a secure password protected file. Participants' names and mailing addresses will be used only for the purpose of issuing and mailing cheques and for entering names in the draws for cash prizes.

Only Wells herself, as the principal investigator, along with her research associate Roseanne Pulford and the web administrator will have access to the data. Participants may also refuse to answer any questions they feel uncomfortable answering or withdraw from the study at any time.

The survey will help the public grasp a better understanding of why men engage in self-destructive activity while drinking.

Wells strongly encourages students to participate if they receive an e-mail notice; the survey will be more accurate with more participants.

Students who participate will also be entered in a draw for one of five cash prizes worth $200. If a student chooses to enter by March 16, they will automatically be entered into one of two ‘early bird' cash prizes of $500.

The deadline to meet the submission date is March 31.
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