Personality and neurocognitive correlates of impulsive aggression in long-term survivors of severe traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2001 Mar;15(3):255-62. doi: 10.1080/026990501300005695.


This study addresses a common outcome of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), disinhibited aggressive behaviour. This behaviour has been classified in aggression literature as 'impulsive aggression' (IA). The purpose was to: (1) characterize those TBI patients who are likely to be an aggression risk, and (2) determine if TBI patients with IA demonstrate personality style and neurocognitive performance similar to that seen in other IA groups. Participants were 45 survivors of severe TBI (26 of whom had persisting problems with IA), who were clients of a residential brain injury treatment facility. IA participants had a higher incidence of pre-morbid aggressive behaviour, were younger, had a shorter tenure in the programine, and were more impulsive, irritable, and antisocial than the non-aggressive control participants. Unlike past research, no neurocognitive differences were found. The results are discussed in terms of the conceptualization, identification, and treatment of persisting IA in severe TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / rehabilitation
  • Brain Injury, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injury, Chronic / psychology
  • Brain Injury, Chronic / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Impulsive Behavior / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Risk Factors