Threat/control-override symptoms and emotional reactions to positive symptoms as correlates of aggressive behavior in psychotic patients
This cross-sectional multicenter study was carried out to examine whether the experience of threat/control-override symptoms and emotional reactions to positive symptoms (e.g., anger, anxiety) are related to aggressive behavior. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, delusional disorder, psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, or a schizoaffective disorder (N = 124) were interviewed and filled out self-report questionnaires. Results indicated that, in particular, threat/control-override symptoms were significantly related to aggressive behavior in psychotic patients. Further analysis revealed that the threat symptoms especially, but not the control-override symptoms, carried this effect. Anger disposition also accounted for a significant and unique proportion of the variance in the aggressive behavior of psychotic patients, whereas state anger and anxiety in reaction to positive symptoms did not. These results seem to suggest that feeling threatened by positive psychotic symptoms and anger disposition play a role in the origins of aggressive behavior of psychotic patients.