A classification of psychological factors leading to violent behavior in posttraumatic stress disorder

J Forensic Sci. 2001 Mar;46(2):309-16.


Posttraumatic stress disorder has long been linked to violent behavior. However, the exact nature of that association remains poorly characterized due to the limitations of knowledge in the area of phenomenology, contextual factors, the biology, and the nature of the aggression involved in the disorder. A clear understanding of the genesis of violence in posttraumatic stress disorder can be helpful to those involved in assessing psychiatric-legal issues relevant to the disorder and in its therapeutic management. In this article, we review the potential psychological links between posttraumatic stress disorder secondary to combat exposure and violent behavior and suggest a tentative classification of the main psychological causes of violence in that syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Criminal Law
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications*
  • Violence / psychology*