Do different facets of impulsivity predict different types of aggression?

Karen Derefinko, C. Nathan Dewall, Amanda V. Metze, Erin C. Walsh, Donald R. Lynam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


This study examined the relations between impulsivity-related traits (as assessed by the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale) and aggressive behaviors. Results indicated that UPPS-P Lack of Premeditation and Sensation Seeking were important in predicting general violence. In contrast, UPPS-P Urgency was most useful in predicting intimate partner violence. To further explore relations between intimate partner violence and Urgency, a measure of autonomic response to pleasant and aversive stimuli and facets of Neuroticism from the NEO PI-R were used as control variables. Autonomic responsivity was correlated with intimate partner violence at the zero-order level, and predicted significant variance in intimate partner violence in regression equations. However, UPPS-P Urgency was able to account for unique variance in intimate partner violence, above and beyond measures of Neuroticism and arousal. Implications regarding the use of a multifaceted conceptualization of impulsivity in the prediction of different types of violent behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Impulsivity
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sensation seeking
  • UPPS
  • Urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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