Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Longitudinal patterns of physical aggression: Associations with adult social, psychiatric, and personality functioning and testosterone levels

  • Rebecca C. Windle (a1) and Michael Windle (a1)

A retrospective longitudinal research design was used to evaluate male adult outcomes associated with four patterns of physical aggression from childhood to adulthood—child-only aggression, child and adult continuity of aggression, adult-onset aggression, and a contrast group with low levels of aggression in childhood and adulthood. The continuity and adult-onset aggression groups had the highest levels of social maladjustment (e.g., marital instability), psychiatric disturbance (e.g., alcohol disorders, major depression), personality dysfunction (e.g., higher prevalence of elevated borderline and narcissistic personality disorder scores), and higher plasma testosterone levels. The child-only aggression group manifested more psychiatric and personality disturbance than the contrast group, but not nearly as much disturbance as the continuity and adult-onset groups. After controlling for age and socioeconomic status (SES) variables, race (White/Black) was typically not a significant predictor of outcome variables. Findings are discussed with regard to life course implications of the physical aggression patterns, and of the support provided for an adult-onset aggressive type.

Corresponding author
Michael Windle, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Hide All
C. R. Brewin , B. Andrews , & I. H. Gotlib (1993). Psychopathology and early experience: A reappraisal of retrospective reports. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 8298.

R. B. Cairns , B. D. Cairns , H. J. Neckerman , L. L. Ferguson , & J. -L. Gartépy (1989). Growth and aggression: 1. Childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 25, 320330.

Centers for Disease Control (1988a). Health status of Vietnam veterans: I. Psychosocial characteristics. Journal of the American Medical Association, 259, 27012719.

Centers for Disease Control (1988b). Health status of Vietnam veterans: II. Physical health. Journal of the American Medical Association, 259, 27082714.

C. M. Chemtob , R. S. Hamada , H. L. Roitblat , & M. Y. Muraoka (1994). Anger, impulsivity, and anger control in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 827832.

M. E. Ensminger (1990). Sexual activity and problem behaviors among black, urban adolescents. Child Development, 61, 20322046.

D. P. Farrington (1986). Age and crime. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice: An annual review of research (Vol. 7, pp. 189250). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

R. L. Greene (1987). Ethnicity and MMPI performance: A review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 497512.

J. E. Helzer , & T. R. Pryzbeck (1988). The cooccurrence of alcoholism with other psychiatric disorders in the general population and its impact on treatment. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 49, 219224.

L. R. Huesmann , L. D. Eron , M. M. Lefkowitz , & L. O. Walder (1984). Stability of aggression over time and generations. Developmental Psychology, 20, 11201134.

B. K. Jordan , C. R. Marmar , J. A. Fairban , W. E. Schlenger , R. A. Kulka , R. L. Hough , & D. S. Weiss (1992). Problems in families of male Vietnam veterans with Postraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60, 916926.

D. B. Kandel (1988). Issues in sequencing of adolescent drug use and other problem behaviors. Drugs and Society, 3, 5576.

B. B. Lahey , E. L. Hart , S. Pliszka , B. Applegate , & K. McBurnett (1993). Neurophysiological correlates of conduct disorder: A rationale and a review of research. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22, 141153.

N. B. Lasko , T. V. Gurvits , A. A. Kuhne , S. P. Orr , R. K. Pitman (1994). Aggression and its correlates in Vietnam veterans with and without chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 35, 373381.

R. S. Laufer , M. S. Gallops , & E. Frey-Wouters (1984). War stress and trauma: The Vietnam veteran experience. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 25, 6585.

M. Le Blanc , & M. Fréchette (1989). Male criminal activity from childhood through youth: Multilevel and developmental perspectives. New York: Springer-Verlag.

R. Loeber (1982). The stability of antisocial and delinquent child behavior: A review. Child Development, 53, 14311446.

R. Loeber (1990). Development and risk factors of juvenile antisocial behavior and delinquency. Clinical Psychology Review, 10, 141.

R. Loeber , & M. Le Blanc (1990). Toward a developmental criminology. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice: A review of research (Vol. 12, pp. 375473). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

R. Loeber , & M. Stouthamer-Loeber (1986). Family factors as correlates and predictors of juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice (Vol. 7, pp. 29149). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

R. Loeber , B. B. Lahey , & C. Thomas (1991). Diagnostic conundrum of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 379390.

T. E. Moffitt (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674701.

L. C. Morey , M. H. Waugh , & R. K. Blashfield (1985). MMPI scales for DSM-III personality disorders: Their derivation and correlates. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 245251.

E. P. Mulvey , & J. F. LaRosa Jr. (1986). Delinquency cessation and adolescent development: Preliminary data. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 56, 212224.

D. Olweus (1979). Stability of aggressive reaction patterns in males: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 852875.

L. N. Robins , J. E. Helzer , J. Croughan , & K. S. Ratcliff (1981). National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule: Its history, characteristics, and validity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 38, 381389.

M. Rutter (1992). Adolescence as a transition period: Continuities and discontinuities in conduct disorder. Journal of Adolescent Health, 13, 451460.

R. J. Sampson , & J. H. Laub (1990). Crime and deviance over the life course: The salience of adult social bonds. American Sociological Review, 55, 609627.

R. J. Sampson , & J. H. Laub (1992). Crime and deviance in the life course. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 6384.

T. J. Trull (1991). Discriminant validity of the MMPI-borderline personality disorder scale. Psychological Assessment, 3, 232238.

M. Windle (1990). A longitudinal study of antisocial behaviors in early adolescence as predictors of late adolescent substance use: Gender and ethnic group differences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 8691.

M. Windle , & R. C. Windle (1993). The continuity of behavioral expression among disinhibited and inhibited childhood subtypes. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 741761.

H. Zeitlin (1990). Annotation: Current interests in child-adult psychopathological continuities. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31, 671679.

R. A. Zucker , & E. S. L. Gomberg (1986). Etiology of alcoholism reconsidered: The case for a biopsychosocial process. American Psychologist, 41, 783793.

M. Zuckerman (1991). Psychobiology of personality. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 13 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 107 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 16th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.