The interaction of psychosocial adversity and biological risk in childhood aggression.
ABSTRACT Childhood aggression has both biological and environmental underpinnings. However, the manner in which these factors interact to influence various types of aggression remains an important area of study. The current study examined the degree to which biological risk and psychosocial adversity, both alone and in combination, are associated with childhood aggression. Linear regression procedures were used to assess the extent to which biological risk status (low vs. high serotonergic responsivity, as measured by prolactin response to fenfluramine), magnitude of psychosocial risk, and the interaction of these factors predicted parent and teacher ratings of aggression and delinquency. After accounting for the independent contribution of biological and psychosocial risk, the interaction of biological and psychosocial risk was significantly associated with parent-rated aggression and marginally related to parent-rated delinquency. In contrast, no such interaction was observed for teacher-rated aggression. Findings suggest that individuals at biological risk for aggression may be particularly vulnerable to the impact of psychosocial adversity.
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ABSTRACT: Cross-sectional studies have reported an association between lipids and serotonin levels and aggression, but a literature search revealed a paucity of prospective studies. Subjects of the present naturalistic study were 254 of all (489) involuntary and voluntary acutely admitted patients to a psychiatric hospital during 1year. Serum lipids and platelet serotonin at admission were prospectively compared with recorded intra-institutional and 1-year post-discharge violence and self-harm. Total cholesterol had a significant negative relationship to inpatient suicidal behaviour and inpatient violent behaviour and to 3-month post-discharge violent behaviour. Triglycerides were a significant marker of inpatient self-mutilation and of self-mutilation in combination with suicidal behaviour at 3 and 12 months of follow-up. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) had a significant negative relationship to violence at 12-months, and to repeated violence in seven patients with two or more admissions. The post-discharge relationships between total cholesterol and violence and between triglycerides and self-harm remained significant even when controlling for other possible explanatory variables in a multivariate model. Results did not change after controlling for current medication at admission. There was no association between platelet serotonin and violence or self-harm. Future research may examine if lipid measurements add incremental validity to established clinical risk assessment procedures of violent and self-harm behaviour.Psychiatry Research 04/2011; 186(2-3):293-9. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2010.07.029 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A 10-year-old boy was referred for ongoing behavioral problems. These problems were reported as having occurred at home since preschool years and had become increasingly problematic outside of the home in latter years, resulting in frequent suspensions from school. A range of diagnoses had been made in the years prior to referral, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The central intervention since age 6 had been pharmacotherapy, with intermittent support at school in the form of school counseling and teachers’ aids. However, the situation appeared to only be worsening, and the need for a more integrated, multimodal approach was recognized. In addition to individual therapy for the client and his mother, the intervention also included engagement of the father, collaboration with other educational and professional service providers, and the development of an integrated plan with shared objectives and strategies. The case explores limitations inherent in taking a medical model diagnostic approach to child behavioral problems and highlights the need to utilize an idiographic approach taking a range of individual psychosocial circumstances into account, rather than taking a more nomothetic treatment approach based mainly on diagnostic assessment.Clinical Case Studies 10/2011; 10(4):263-277. DOI:10.1177/1534650111410228
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ABSTRACT: Acts of violence account for an estimated 1.43 million deaths worldwide annually. While violence can occur in many contexts, individual acts of aggression account for the majority of instances. In some individuals, repetitive acts of aggression are grounded in an underlying neurobiological susceptibility that is just beginning to be understood. The failure of "top-down" control systems in the prefrontal cortex to modulate aggressive acts that are triggered by anger provoking stimuli appears to play an important role. An imbalance between prefrontal regulatory influences and hyper-responsivity of the amygdala and other limbic regions involved in affective evaluation are implicated. Insufficient serotonergic facilitation of "top-down" control, excessive catecholaminergic stimulation, and subcortical imbalances of glutamatergic/gabaminergic systems as well as pathology in neuropeptide systems involved in the regulation of affiliative behavior may contribute to abnormalities in this circuitry. Thus, pharmacological interventions such as mood stabilizers, which dampen limbic irritability, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which may enhance "top-down" control, as well as psychosocial interventions to develop alternative coping skills and reinforce reflective delays may be therapeutic.American Journal of Psychiatry 05/2008; 165(4):429-42. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07111774 · 13.56 Impact Factor