Aggressive behavior in combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Zagreb, KBC Rebro, Kispatićeva 12, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.
Military medicine (Impact Factor: 0.77). 09/2001; 166(8):671-6.
Source: PubMed


The incidence of aggression and violent behavior in combat veterans varies and can be observed with regard to the presence or absence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Significantly greater occurrence of aggression was observed in combat veterans with PTSD compared with those without PTSD. There are various types of aggressive behavior that frequently are combined. Autoaggressive (suicidal) and heteroaggressive (interpersonal violence) behaviors predominate, with dominating verbal aggression and impulsive somatic reactions. Impulsive reactions are more frequently directed toward unknown persons, whereas verbal aggression is mostly aimed at known people. In the occurrence of aggressive behavior in combat veterans with PTSD, important roles are played by education level, low socioeconomic status, maltreatment in childhood, and previous types of violent behavior (before participation in war events).

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    • "Unlike for domestic violence, relatively little research on Veterans has examined contextual or environmental correlates of interpersonal violence. Lower socioeconomic status and lower income has been linked to higher incidence of interpersonal violence (Beckham et al., 1997) and aggressive behavior (Begic & Jokic-Begic, 2001) in Veterans. Possession of firearms has also been shown relevant to consider in one study of Veterans, which found that weapon possession was common among perpetrators of assault, and many of the assaults involved a weapon (Lehmann et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increased media attention to post-deployment violence highlights the need to develop effective models to guide risk assessment among military Veterans. Ideally, a method would help identify which Veterans are most at risk for violence so that it can be determined what could be done to prevent violent behavior. This article suggests how empirical approaches to risk assessment used successfully in civilian populations can be applied to Veterans. A review was conducted of the scientific literature on Veteran populations regarding factors related to interpersonal violence generally and to domestic violence specifically. A checklist was then generated of empirically-supported risk factors for clinicians to consider in practice. To conceptualize how these known risk factors relate to a Veteran's violence potential, risk assessment scholarship was utilized to develop an evidence-based method to guide mental health professionals. The goals of this approach are to integrate science into practice, overcome logistical barriers, and permit more effective assessment, monitoring, and management of violence risk for clinicians working with Veterans, both in Department of Veteran Affairs settings and in the broader community. Research is needed to test the predictive validity of risk assessment models. Ultimately, the use of a systematic, empirical framework could lead to improved clinical decision-making in the area of risk assessment and potentially help prevent violence among Veterans.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Clinical psychology review
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    • "These effects may contribute to the development of differences in stress reactivity and certain forms of pathologic cognition. Literature shows that boys and men with war and combat experiences are more likely to exhibit violent behavior (Begic & Jokic-Begic, 2001; Bryne & Riggs, 1996; Catani et al., 2008; Glenn et al., 2002). The same can be expected for men who have a history of child soldiering. "
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    ABSTRACT: With almost 80% of the fighting forces composed of child soldiers, this is one characterization of the ‘new wars,’ which constitute the dominant form of violent conflict that has emerged only over the last few decades. The development of light weapons, such as automatic guns suitable for children, was an obvious prerequisite for the involvement of children in modern conflicts that typically involve irregular forces, that target mostly civilians, and that are justified by identities, although the economic interests of foreign countries and exiled communities are usually the driving force.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2010
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    • "aggressive acts. Begic and Jokic-Begic (2001) reported general aggression rates of 18.7 and 2.7 for male combat veterans with and without PTSD, respectively, based on clinician judgments. McFall, Fontana , Raskind, and Rosenheck (1999) found that male Vietnam veteran psychiatric inpatients with PTSD were significantly more likely than Vietnam veteran psychiatric inpatients without PTSD to engage in general aggression in the four months before hospitalization (79% for veterans with PTSD; 33% for those without PTSD). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined rates and correlates of intimate partner and general aggression perpetration among 236 male combat veterans seeking services in a Veteran's Affairs posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) clinic. Approximately 33% of those in an intimate relationship reported perpetrating partner physical aggression in the previous year, and 91% reported partner psychological aggression. Comparable rates were found for general aggression perpetration among partnered and nonpartnered veterans. PTSD symptoms as well as symptoms of depression were associated with aggression across subgroups and forms of aggression, and PTSD symptoms reflecting arousal and lack of control were generally the strongest predictor of aggression. Findings indicate a need for additional aggression screening and intervention development for this population, and highlight the targeting of heightened arousal and lack of behavioral control in aggression interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
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