Psychopharmacological treatment of aggressive behavior: implications for domestically violent men

Violence Vict. 1996 Fall;11(3):239-61.


In an attempt to further evolve our understanding and response to domestic violence as a public health problem, a number of investigators have begun to prioritize the development of specialized diagnostic and intervention methods from a biomedical perspective. The potential use of selectively prescribed and carefully monitored medications to help end violent and abusive behavior would be an important step toward mainstreaming the treatment of domestically violent men into the realm of modern medicine and health care. While much work remains in understanding the specific linkages and mechanisms between psychobiology and aggressive and violent behavior, there is a growing body of basic and clinical research which has important potential for expanding our intervention efforts. This article reviews this research in relation to current efforts to understand and treat domestically violent men. A biopsychosocial model which incorporates selective and adjunctive psychopharmacological treatment within the context of cognitive-behavioral and social systems interventions is outlined and discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Agents / pharmacology
  • Central Nervous System Agents / therapeutic use
  • Domestic Violence / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Social Behavior Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Social Behavior Disorders / physiopathology


  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Neurotransmitter Agents