The relationship between childhood exposure to trauma and intermittent explosive disorder

Angela Nickerson, Idan M. Aderka, Richard A. Bryant, Stefan G. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There has been a paucity of research linking intermittent explosive disorder (IED) to trauma and posttraumatic stress responses, despite evidence that trauma is strongly associated with anger reactions. The present study investigated the relationship between IED and a number of trauma-related factors, including trauma dosage, timing of first trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants were 4844 trauma-exposed and 731 non trauma-exposed adults who took part in the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R). Findings indicated that IED was associated with greater trauma exposure, PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) diagnosis, and first exposure to traumatic events in childhood. Exploratory analyses investigating the link between IED and age at first trauma exposure across trauma types suggested that IED is related to childhood exposure to interpersonal traumatic events. These findings are discussed in the context of developmental trauma and cycles of violence models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Nickerson was funded by a 2009 Sir Keith Murdoch Postdoctoral Research Fellowship provided by the American Australian Association . Professor Bryant was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council . Dr. Aderka did not receive any funding for the current study. Professor Hofmann was funded by NIMH Grant MH078308 and is a paid consultant for Merck/Schering-Plough.


  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Mental health
  • PTSD
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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