Maladaptive and impulsive aggression is explosive, triggered by routine environmental cues, and intended to harm another person, making it a significant challenge for clinicians, family members, and others who interact with affected children and adolescents. Efforts to develop effective treatments would benefit from better descriptive and quantitative methods to characterize this disorder, as described in an article published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
Dan Connor, MD, University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Farmington), is Guest Editor of the special issue and is also the author of the article “On the Challenge of Maladaptive and Impulsive Aggression in the Clinical Treatment Setting”. In children and adolescents receiving psychiatric care, impulsive aggression is associated with more significant illness and poses a major challenge for clinicians, as there are few evidence-based treatments available. The lack of a unified clinical definition of impulsive aggression and of clear measures to characterize the aggressive child have slowed progress in the development of effective treatments. Dr. Connor emphasizes the need for validated rating scales that precisely measure impulsive aggression within well-defined disorders.