Intermittent Explosive Disorder Research

(Also Known As: Anger Management Research, Anger Research, Stress Management Research, Rage Research, Impulsive Control Disorder Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Intermittent Explosive Disorder Related Research


The team of University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a study on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and the outcome of their research showed that persons with intermittent explosive disorder can benefit from this therapeutic approach. The approach used in cognitive behavioral therapy challenges the person’s negative views of the world and it is an effective approach to reduce the intensity and frequency of the raging behavior episodes. The approach of therapy is distinct from men where they are taught how to control their violent behavior through their gender role. Men are taught to rethink “manliness” in terms of self control instead of thinking of it as something to be proven by hurting other people or causing deliberate damage to property. Medication can also be administered as an adjunct treatment for cognitive behavioral therapy using mood stabilizing medications. The success of this treatment approach became consistent with the findings that intermittent explosive disorder has a high lifetime co morbid rate of bipolar disorder. 6


Based on a study of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), they identified that anger always brings about the tendency to attack other people and their possession, thereby causing injury to others and property damage, in people with intermittent explosive disorder. The occurrence of intermittent explosive disorder in the early adolescent years may precede and predispose the development of anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse disorders. The 2006 Archives of general Psychiatry suggested that the early treatment of anger, through learning anger management methods, will significantly help prevent the co-occurrence of the different behavioral and mood disorders to develop. 7


According to a study based on electroencephalogram in children and adolescents, children who manifest explosive behavior, such as that seen in intermittent explosive disorder, showed marked unusual increased amplitude of brain wave forms. This research study in children made researchers conclude that in this subgroup of individuals with intermittent explosive disorder, the condition is predisposed by an inborn characteristic of their central nervous system. This further strengthens the potential role of biological factors that can cause intermittent explosive disorders in children until late adulthood or in their lifetime. Cognitive therapists also believed that children with impulse control disorder usually have strong negative beliefs about other people, which resulted from harsh punishment inflicted on them by their parents.


Based on the research study of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Chicago there is a high correlation of suicidal attempts and self-injurious behavior seen in individuals diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder. The research is based on the conduct of structured interviews with reported 12.5% of suicide attempts and 7.4% of non-lethal self injurious behavior associated with the disorder. 8

Could You Have Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Intermittent Explosive Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – Disregard and Violation of the Rights of Others, Conduct Disorder, Sociopath, Psychopaths, Lack of Empathy
Anxiety Disorder NOS – Stress, Anxiousness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Phobia
Kleptomania – Hoarding of Things, Stealing, Theft, Depression, Guilt, Compulsion, Schizoid, Paranoid, Borderline Personality Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder – Behavioral Pattern of Disobedience, Hostile, Defiant Behavior towards Authority
Pyromania – Impulse to Start a Fire to Relieve Tension, Gratification of Doing the Act, Psychosis, Act of Revenge, Euphoria