Cognitive predictors of reactive and proactive aggression in a forensic sample: A comparison with a non-clinical sample

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Abstract

This study aimed at examining cognitive predictors of reactive and proactive aggression in a forensic-psychiatric (n = 80) and a non-clinical sample (n = 98; Brugman et al., 2015). Three different cognitive predictors were incorporated: (1) attentional bias towards aggressive stimuli (measured with Emotional Stroop task) and towards angry faces (measured with a visual search task); (2) interpretation biases (measured with Aggressive Interpretative Bias Task (AIBT) and a vignette task), and (3) implicit self-aggression association (measured with a Single-Target Implicit Association Task). To measure aggression, the Reactive-Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPQ) and the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (TAP) were used. An automatic self-aggression association positively predicted proactive aggressive behavior on the TAP in both samples. Furthermore, this self-aggression association predicted, increased self-reported proactive aggression (RPQ) in the forensic sample only. Pain, injury, and danger interpretations reported on the vignettes, negatively predicted self-reported proactive aggression in both samples. A stronger aggressive interpretation bias on the AIBT predicted more reactive aggressive behavior (TAP) in the non-clinical sample only. Taken together, findings show both common and distinct mechanisms in reactively vs. proactively driven aggressive behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-620
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume269
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • ANGER
  • ATTENTION
  • Aggressive behavior
  • BEHAVIOR
  • Cognitive predictors
  • Forensic psychiatric patients
  • IMPLICIT
  • INFORMATION-PROCESSING MECHANISMS
  • PAIN
  • PROVOCATION
  • Proactive aggression
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • Reactive aggression
  • TOLERANCE
  • Taylor aggression paradigm
  • VIOLENT
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric/trends
  • Forensic Psychology/trends
  • Adolescent
  • Aggression/physiology
  • Cognition/physiology

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