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Measuring aggression for prediction and treatment

Purpose and aims

Identification of a “gap of knowledge”: Many different and validated instruments are used in healthcare to measure the aggressive personality (“trait”) or emotional states, such as anger. There is, however, no clinical instrument that has been validated to measure change in state aggression defined as the incidence and severity of aggressive behaviours during a given time period, such as before or after a treatment. To be able to perform randomized clinical trials targeting aggression as primary or secondary treatment goal, there is need for a validated and reliable measure.

General aim:
To validate standardised measures that can be used as primary or secondary measures of outcome reflecting aggressive antisocial behaviour in controlled clinical trials of proposed treatments.

Specific aims:

  1. To establish base rates and changes over time in aggressive antisocial behaviors (without directed medical treatments) in our study population.
  2. To test convergent validity of ratings to measure aggressive behaviours during one (the past) month, and validity of the ratings to measure changes of aggressive behaviour over time.
  3. To identify possible use of personality scales in assessment of state aggressive behaviours.



Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R)
Life History of Aggression (LHA) self-report version and interview version
The Aggression Questionnaire-Revised Swedish Version (AQ-RSV)
The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R140)

Project flowchart

Preliminary results of the study will be presented to the Swedish Prison and Probation Service by the end of 2014.


Responsible research leader: Nóra Kerekes, Ph.D. Swedish Prison and Probation Service, Gothenburg.

Contact Information

Nóra Kerekes

Page Manager: Stefan Axelsson|Last update: 11/3/2014

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