Irritability and impulsiveness: relationship to self-reported impulsive aggression

Matthew S. Stanford, Kevin W. Greve, Theodore J. Dickens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Impulsive aggressive behavior was assessed in a group of 214 college students through self-report. All subjects completed the Anger Attack Questionnaire, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Questionnaire (BIS-11). Fifty-one subjects (24%) were classified as impulsive aggressive. Analysis of the BDHI and BIS-11 found that impulsive aggressive subjects scored significantly higher than nonaggressives on impulsiveness (BIS-11) and all subscales of the BDHI with the exception of Negativism and Suspicion. Correlation analysis demonstrated that impulsiveness and BDHI Irritability were significantly correlated with number of impulsive aggressive episodes in the previous month, while BDHI Assault was not. Impulsiveness was also found to be significantly related to BDHI Irritability but not to BDHI Assault. Irritability assesses an explosive, uncontrolled type of hostility; assault on the other hand assesses more of a provoked or retaliatory type of hostility which is not likely to be related to impulse control or impulsive aggression. The results of this study clearly demonstrate the usefulness of self-report data in the assessment of impulsive aggressive behavior. BDHI Irritability and BIS-11 impulsiveness both appear to be measuring similar aspects of behavioral control. It is suggested that the BDHI Irritability and BIS-11 scales may be useful in the identification of impulsive aggressive individuals early in their contact with the criminal justice and/or mental health systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-760
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Irritability and impulsiveness: relationship to self-reported impulsive aggression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this