Objective: To investigate descriptive and predictive correlates of aggression in children and adolescents who exhibit a high frequency of daily physical assault after admission to a structured residential treatment program and to examine correlations between subcategories of overt categorical aggression (OCA) in the same population.
Method: Fifty-one admissions to a residential treatment program were assessed for frequency of physical assault after admission; analyses were corrected for length of stay. Patients with a high frequency of daily assault were compared with patients with a low frequency of daily assault on variables assessing demographics, history, family, concurrent behavior, treatment, and outcome.
Results: A high prevalence of OCA was found in this sample. Variables assessing history and concurrent behavior were significantly associated and predictive of subjects exhibiting a high frequency of daily physical assault after admission. Physical assault was significantly correlated with verbal aggression, property destruction, and self-injurious behavior.
Conclusions: These findings support the distinctiveness of OCA as a separate subtype of aggression encompassing four subcategories. Further research on treatment, outcome, and associated comorbidity of OCA is warranted.