Intimate partner and general aggression perpetration among combat veterans presenting to a posttraumatic stress disorder clinic

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2009 Oct;79(4):461-8. doi: 10.1037/a0016657.


This study examined rates and correlates of intimate partner and general aggression perpetration among 236 male combat veterans seeking services in a Veteran's Affairs posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) clinic. Approximately 33% of those in an intimate relationship reported perpetrating partner physical aggression in the previous year, and 91% reported partner psychological aggression. Comparable rates were found for general aggression perpetration among partnered and nonpartnered veterans. PTSD symptoms as well as symptoms of depression were associated with aggression across subgroups and forms of aggression, and PTSD symptoms reflecting arousal and lack of control were generally the strongest predictor of aggression. Findings indicate a need for additional aggression screening and intervention development for this population, and highlight the targeting of heightened arousal and lack of behavioral control in aggression interventions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Arousal
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*