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).
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
Substance Use Disorders: Relationship With Intermittent Explosive Disorder and With Aggression, Anger, and ImpulsivityEF Coccaro et al. J Psychiatr Res 81, 127-32. PMID 27442963.Subjects with IED are at increased risk of developing substance use disorder, compared to those without IED. This suggests that history of recurrent, problematic, impulsi …
Comorbidity of Personality Disorder With Intermittent Explosive DisorderEF Coccaro et al. J Psychiatr Res 106, 15-21. PMID 30240963.There is ambiguity in how recurrent anger and aggression are accounted for by psychiatric nosology. One area of uncertainty is the extent to which Intermittent Explosive …
Comorbid Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Clinical Correlates and Relationship to Suicidal BehaviorJR Fanning et al. Compr Psychiatry 70, 125-33. PMID 27624432.These findings add support to the notion that the diagnosis of IED may aid in identifying individuals at risk for aggressive and suicidal behavior.
Is It Time to Pull the Plug on the Hostile Versus Instrumental Aggression Dichotomy?BJ Bushman et al. Psychol Rev 108 (1), 273-9. PMID 11212630. - ReviewPsychologists have often categorized human aggression as hostile or instrumental. Hostile aggression is "hot," impulsive behavior that is motivated by a desire to hurt so …
Intermittent Explosive Disorder as a Disorder of Impulsive Aggression for DSM-5EF Coccaro. Am J Psychiatry 169 (6), 577-88. PMID 22535310. - ReviewA disorder of impulsive aggression has been included in DSM since the first edition. In DSM-III, this disorder was codified as intermittent explosive disorder, and it was …
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