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Life History of Aggression scores are predicted by childhood hyperactivity, conduct disorder, adult substance abuse, and low cooperativeness in adult psychiatric patients.

Journal article
Authors Björn Hofvander
Ola Ståhlberg
Agneta Nydén
Elisabet Wentz
Alessio Degl'Innocenti
Eva Billstedt
Anders Forsman
Christopher Gillberg
Thomas Nilsson
Maria Råstam
Henrik Anckarsäter
Published in Psychiatry Research
Volume 185
Issue 1-2
Pages 280-285
ISSN 0165-1781
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 280-285
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aggression, Psychology, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Conduct Disorder, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Etiology, Cooperative Behavior, Female, Forensic Psychiatry, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Complications, Epidemiology, Psychology, Predictive Value of Tests, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Statistics, Nonparametric, Substance-Related Disorders, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Young Adult
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


The prevention of aggressive behaviours is a core priority for psychiatric clinical work, but the association between the diagnostic concepts used in psychiatry and aggression remains largely unknown. Outpatients referred for psychiatric evaluations of childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders (n = 178) and perpetrators of violent crimes referred to pre-trial forensic psychiatric investigations (n = 92) had comprehensive, instrument-based, psychiatric assessments, including the Life History of Aggression (LHA) scales. Total and subscale LHA scores were compared to the categorical and dimensional diagnoses of childhood and adult DSM-IV axis I and II mental disorders, general intelligence (IQ), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and personality traits according to the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Overall, the two groups had similar LHA scores, but the offender group scored higher on the Antisocial subscale. Higher total LHA scores were independently associated with the hyperactivity facet of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), childhood conduct disorder, substance-related disorders, and low scores on the Cooperativeness character dimension according to the TCI. IQ and GAF-scores were negatively correlated with the LHA subscale Self-directed aggression. Autistic traits were inversely correlated with aggression among outpatients, while the opposite pattern was noted in the forensic group. The findings call for assessments of aggression-related behaviours in all psychiatric settings.

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