Rage attacks in children with Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome



Wells, Melissa

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University of Guelph


Sudden, out-of-character, attacks of aggressive behavior, "rage attacks" are reportedly the most troubling characteristic of children with Tourette's Syndrome (TS). The present study investigated characteristics and possible predictors of these rage attacks. Parents and their children with TS (N = 40) provided information regarding dimensions thought to relate to the presence of rage attacks. Symptom severity, the likelihood of making hostile intent attributions, and the likelihood of choosing aggressive responses were similar between children with and without rage attacks. However, children with rage attacks had higher levels of reactive and overall aggression. All types of aggression (overall, reactive, or proactive) significantly predicted the number of rage attacks, but only reactive aggression accounted for unique variance in number of rage attacks. Thus, rage attacks may not be as out-of-character as previously thought, which raises questions regarding the established criteria for rage attacks. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.



aggressive behavior, rage attacks, children, Tourette's Syndrome, characteristics, predictors