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, 109, 164-172

Subtypes of Aggression in Intermittent Explosive Disorder


Subtypes of Aggression in Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Jennifer R Fanning et al. J Psychiatr Res.


Research in aggression has distinguished two major subtypes of aggressive behavior: hostile and instrumental. Previous research has examined these subtypes in healthy individuals and forensic samples but not in intermittent explosive disorder (IED), a disorder characterized by recurrent and severe aggressive behavior. We examined aggression subtypes in individuals with IED, healthy subjects, and psychiatric control subjects. We also considered the relationship between aggression subtypes and measures of trait anger and impulsivity to evaluate whether the hostile/instrumental dichotomy adequately captures the heterogeneity of aggressive behavior in this sample. Finally, we consider the implications of these results for research on aggression, including neuroscience research on aggression.

Keywords: Impulsive aggression; Instrumental aggression; Intermittent explosive disorder; Premeditated aggression; Research Domain Criteria (RDoC).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Means and standard errors for healthy subjects (HC), psychiatric controls (PC), and intermittent explosive disorder (IED). Trait aggression=Life History of Aggression; Psychopathy=Psychopathy Checklist-Screening Version; Trait Anger=Buss Perry Anger Scale; Trait impulsivity=Life History of Impulsivity-20 item; AAQ=Aggressive Acts Questionnaire; ExpAgg= Expressive and Instrumental Representation of Aggression

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