Development of a brief online intervention to address aggression in the context of emotion-related impulsivity: Evidence from a wait-list controlled trial

Sheri L. Johnson, Mackenzie Rae Zisser, Devon B. Sandel, Benjamin A. Swerdlow, Charles S. Carver, Amy H. Sanchez, Ephrem Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trait-like tendencies to respond impulsively to emotion, labelled emotion-related impulsivity, are robustly related to aggression. We developed and tested an online intervention to address emotion-related impulsivity and aggression. The 6-session intervention focused on behavioral techniques shown to decrease arousal and aggression, supplemented with implementation intentions and smartphone prompts to facilitate skills transfer into daily life. First, we piloted the intervention in-person with 4 people. Then, 235 participants were randomly assigned to take the online intervention immediately or after a wait-list period; those in the waitlist were then invited to take part in the intervention. Participants completed the self-rated Feelings Trigger Action Scale to assess emotion-related impulsivity, the interview-based Modified Overt Aggression Scale and the self-rated Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire. Participants who took part in the treatment completed daily anger logs. Attrition, as with other online programs, was high; however, treatment completers reported high satisfaction, and outcomes changed more rapidly during treatment than waitlist across all key outcome indices. In analyses including all participants who took part in the treatment (immediate or delayed), we observed moderate-to-large treatment gains, which were maintained as of the 3-month follow-up assessment. This work supports the usefulness of an intervention for addressing emotion-related impulsivity and aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103708
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Behavioral
  • Impulsivity
  • Intervention
  • Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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