This study examined the association between symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in male Vietnam veterans and their use of aggressive behavior in relationships with intimate female partners. Fifty couples participated in the study. Veterans reported on their PTSD symptoms, and veterans and partners completed measures assessing the veterans' use of physical, verbal, and psychological aggression during the preceding year as well as measures of their own perceptions of problems in the relationship. Results indicated that PTSD symptomatology places veterans at increased risk for perpetrating relationship aggression against their partners.
Early sociological theories regarding family stress (Burr, 1973) suggest that certain circumstances, either external or internal to the family, may render both the marital and parent-child relationship vulnerable to disruption and conflict. The more recent General Stress Theory, from the field of criminology, may also shed light on violent behavior in the family. According to this theory, strain or stress may contribute to criminal behavior through a number of pathways, including general states of deprivation, greater and heightened sensitivity to negative stimuli, and frequent interaction with other angry and frustrated persons (Agnew, 1999).
Logistic regression analysis yielded these findings: Men who reported aggression during early adolescence were significantly more likely to respond to severe role stress with aggression during young adulthood, while men who were not aggressive in early adolescence did not report much increase in aggression under similar circumstances. For young women, however, role stress increased aggression only among those who did not report aggression in early adolescence. For those who reported aggression during adolescence, the effect was positive but weak.
For many trauma survivors, the distress of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is compounded by the destructive effects that anger, hostility, and aggression have on interpersonal relationships and daily functioning. Anger is an emotional state elicited by provocation, perceived injustice, or frustration and ranges in intensity from annoyance to rage; hostility is a negative, antagonistic attitude or evaluation of others and is associated with feelings of disgust, indignation, and resentment.
Given that stress and aggression are on the rise in today's workplace, efforts to understand person-environment misfit seem especially important when exploring ways to decrease or eliminate the manifestation of destructive workplace behavior.
Contemporary American society is plagued by high levels of exposure to both social stress and violence. These twin evils are linked to one another, according to this monograph, because American culture selectively channels the expression of stress-induced frustration into aggression directed towards others and towards self.
As we can see from the table, drivers who displayed instrumental aggression felt more stress than those who manifested hostile aggression. In addition, the problem- oriented coping style was greater among those drivers who manifested instrumental aggression than those rivers who displayed hostile aggression.
A biological link between stress and aggression may explain why it is so hard to break cycles of violence, scientists said last night. Experiments with rats have identified a mechanism by which stress and aggression reinforce each other.
Stimulating the rat brain's aggression centre increased the production of stress hormones, which in turn led to more aggression.
The result was a 'positive feedback loop' - a cycle that led to violent rage.
Scientists have found that “macho” gene that makes men behave more aggressively than women under stress. They say this one gene could explain why men have a 'fight or flight' response while women are more likely to try and defuse the situation. The study has been published in the journal BioEssays.
A biological link between stress and aggression may help explain why humans can become enraged and violent so easily and find it difficult to calm down, says a study in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Behavioral neuroscientists in the Netherlands and Hungary found that rats have a fast, mutual, positive feedback loop between the aggression control center in their brains and their stress hormones. The neurophysiology of rats is similar to that of humans.