A positive correlation between self-ratings of depression and laboratory-measured aggression

James M. Bjork, Donald M. Dougherty, F. Gerard Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Aggression and depressive symptoms have been linked using self-rating scales as measures of aggression. In order to study this relationship using an objective measure of aggression, we studied normal controls (42 women and 23 men) with the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (PSAP) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). There was a significant positive correlation (r = 0.442, P = 0.003) between the level of aggressive responding on the PSAP and the level of depressive symptoms on the BDI in women but not in men (r = 0.064, P = 0.773). This study provides some evidence of a link between aggressive behavior and depressive symptoms in a non-clinical population, possibly due to a common neurochemical etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 3 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • behavior
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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