The experience of aggressive outbursts in intermittent explosive disorder

Daniel A. Kulper, Evan M. Kleiman, Michael S. McCloskey, Mitchell E. Berman, Emil F. Coccaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Conceptualizations of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) have suffered from a scarcity of research investigating the subjective experience and phenomenology of the aggressive outbursts among those with IED relative to those who partake in more normative forms of aggression. Furthermore, though some studies have shown that individuals with IED are more impaired and have a poorer quality of life, few studies looked at negative outcomes specific to an individual with IED's aggressive behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the subjective experience and social, occupational, and legal consequences of aggressive outbursts in IED. We assessed individuals with IED (n=410), psychiatric controls (n=133), and healthy controls (HC) (n=154) in the experiential correlates present before, during, and after an aggressive outburst as well as the consequences of aggressive outbursts. Results indicated that before and during aggressive outbursts, individuals with IED experienced more intense anger, physiological reactivity, and feelings of dyscontrol as well as more remorse after an aggressive outburst. Furthermore, individuals with IED report more negative consequences of their aggressive outbursts. These results provide an account of how the subjective experience and consequences of aggressive outbursts in IED differ from those with more normative forms of aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-715
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Aggression
  • Emotion
  • Intermittent explosive disorder


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