Category: Violence / Aggression

Symposium

Symposium 79 - Mechanisms and Treatment of Aggression: Novel Findings and Implications for CBT Practice

Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Cobalt 501, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: Aggression / Disruptive Behaviors / Conduct Problems | Information Processing | Research Methods
Presentation Type: Symposium

Aggression, which includes verbal and physical behaviors intended to harm another person, is a significant public health concern, costing the U.S. billions of dollars per year due to victims’ healthcare costs and loss of productivity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003).  Although cognitive-behavioral interventions have shown some promise in treating anger (Del Vecchio & O’Leary, 2004; DiGiuseppe & Tafrate, 2007), aggression-specific treatments have been less effective (Babcock, Green, & Robie, 2004), suggesting the need for a greater understanding of mechanisms and contextual influences on aggressive behavior. The primary aim of this symposium is to showcase innovative, multimethod investigations of aggression with an emphasis on affective (e.g., anger, fear), cognitive (e.g., attention), behavioral (e.g., alcohol use), and psychopathological (e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) mechanisms of aggression.

This symposium assembles experts in the study of mechanisms and treatment of aggression who will discuss their research among diverse samples including clinical, community, and veteran participants.  Sippel and Marshall will present findings from a laboratory-based study showing that attention bias to threat is positively associated with in vivo aggression and that state fear appears to inhibit aggression among individuals more attentive to threat. Maldonado and colleagues will present data from an experimental study of the effects of acute alcohol intoxication and previous history of intimate partner aggression (IPA) on attentional processing (indexed by the P300 event related potential) and verbalized aggression during anger-arousing dating scenarios in a community sample. Watkins and colleagues will discuss findings demonstrating that greater reductions in PTSD symptoms are related to less post-treatment aggression among veterans who engaged in residential treatment for PTSD. Creech and colleagues will present results from a study of the Strength at Home Men’s Program (SAH-M) showing a significant effect of SAH-M in reducing IPA among male veterans; findings also revealed that PTSD symptoms at intake significantly predicted both physical and psychological IPA, even after accounting for effects of treatment condition, time, and number of sessions attended.

Together, these studies highlight potential mechanisms of aggression across different contexts, settings, and relationships. Dr. Leslie A. Morland will discuss how these presentations contribute to the overarching goal of identifying novel mechanisms of aggressive behavior and augmenting cognitive behavioral interventions to fully maximize decreases in aggressive behavior across a wide range of settings. 

Learning Objectives:

Lauren Sippel

Associate Director for Research, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
VA National Center for PTSD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Lauren Sippel

Laura Watkins

Postdoctoral Fellow
National Center for PTSD Clinical Neurosciences Division, Yale University School of Medicine

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Laura Watkins

Leslie Morland

Director of TMH for San Diego VA Health Care System (VASDHCS); Associate Professor of Psychiatry
San Diego VA Health Care System; University of CA, San Diego

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Leslie Morland

Lauren Sippel

Associate Director for Research, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
VA National Center for PTSD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Lauren Sippel

Rosalita Maldonado

Clinical Psychologist
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Rosalita Maldonado

Laura Watkins

Postdoctoral Fellow
National Center for PTSD Clinical Neurosciences Division, Yale University School of Medicine

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Laura Watkins

Suzannah K. Creech

Clinical Research Psychologist, Treatment Core
VHA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans and the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Psychiatry

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Suzannah Creech


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