Send to

Choose Destination
J Nerv Ment Dis. 2016 Apr;204(4):280-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000485.

Executive (Dys)Functioning and Impulsivity as Possible Vulnerability Factors for Aggression in Forensic Patients.

Author information

*Department of Research, Forensic Psychiatric Centre de Rooyse Wissel, Oostrum; †Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, Maastricht; ‡Department of Research, Conrisq Group, Zetten; §Department of Developmental Psychopathology, Radboud University, Nijmegen; and ∥Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


This study investigated whether executive dysfunction and impulsivity are both predictors of reactive aggression and is the first to use behavioral assessment of aggression in response to provocation by means of a personalized boxing body opponent bag giving harassing feedback. Aggressive behavior, self-reported aggression, executive functioning (ie, working memory, flexibility, and divided attention), and impulsivity dimensions (i.e., Sensation Seeking, Impulsive Decision Making, and [inadequate] Response Inhibition) were measured in 44 incarcerated psychiatric patients. Results show that both executive functioning (working memory) and impulsivity (Impulsive Decision Making) predicted self-reported reactive aggression, whereas Response Inhibition was the only predictor for reactive aggressive behavioral responses. The study suggests that Response Inhibition is a stronger predictor of reactive aggressive behavior than executive capacities of working memory, flexibility, and divided attention. Therefore, future research should investigate whether (inadequate) Response Inhibition could also be a valuable predictor for violent recidivism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center