It is imperative to understand the etiology and risk factors that contribute to aggressive behaviors. Equally important is effectively assessing and using targeted management strategies to reduce pathologic aggression.

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Aggression is defined as harmful behaviors or attitudes inflicted upon others, which is a universal behavioral trait among animals. It is used either as a mechanism to further an individual’s or group’s power or as a mechanism of defense from a perceived threat. It is one of the basic human traits aiding in the mechanism of survival. However, societies place limits on acceptable levels of aggression and violence. These limits are culturally bound and influence what is considered pathologic versus acceptable. We categorize pathologic aggression into 2 categories: impulsive (emotional, reactive, affective) and premeditated (planned, predatory), which is defined by goal-oriented actions. Distinguishing impulsive from premeditated aggression is important, because of the...

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