Chapter

Stress and Aggressive Behaviors

D. Caroline Blanchard and Robert J. Blanchard

in Biology of Aggression

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168761
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865444 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168761.003.0012
 							Stress and Aggressive Behaviors

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This chapter considers the relationships of stress to offensive and defensive aggression. It argues that stress defined in terms of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity is relatively uninformative with reference to either the antecedents or the consequences of aggression. Stress defined in terms of threat is also insufficiently specific for understanding the two types of aggression. The incidence and specific elicitors of offensive aggression may be very different for mammalian species, depending on their social and physical environments. The prevalence of defensive threat/attack and their position in the defense pattern also change systematically with group social structure, environmental constraints, and the size and defensive capabilities of the animal relative to major predators for each species.

Keywords: offensive aggression; defensive aggression; stress response; stress hormone; mammals

Chapter.  12152 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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