Assessment and Treatment of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Michael S. McCloskey, Mitchell E. Berman and Kurtis Noblett

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940431 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Assessment and Treatment of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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Intermittent explosive disorder (IED), a DSM-IV-TR disorder characterized by significant acts of aggression and violence, is being increasingly recognized as a prevalent and chronic disorder. Given the personal, social, and economic costs associated with IED, there is a clear need for well-validated assessment measures and efficacious treatments. However, there are currently no published, well-validated diagnostic measures of IED. With regard to treatment, preliminary evidence from a few randomized clinical trials suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy may be effective in treating IED. However, more research is needed before either can be considered an empirically supported treatment for IED. In this chapter, we discuss (1) challenges in developing reliable and valid assessments for IED and (2) issues relevant to developing and testing psychological and pharmacological treatment interventions for IED.

Keywords: intermittent explosive disorder; aggression; assessment; psychotherapy; pharmacotherapy; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI); cognitive behavioral therapy

Article.  6257 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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