Understanding the underpinnings of behavioural disturbances following brain injury is of considerable importance, but little at present is known about the relationships between different types of behavioural disturbances. Here, we take a novel approach to this issue by using confirmatory factor analysis to elucidate the architecture of verbal aggression, physical aggression and inappropriate sexual behaviour using systematic records made across an eight-week observation period for a large sample (n = 301) of individuals with a range of brain injuries. This approach offers a powerful test of the architecture of these behavioural disturbances by testing the fit between observed behaviours and different theoretical models. We chose models that reflected alternative theoretical perspectives based on generalized disinhibition (Model 1), a difference between aggression and inappropriate sexual behaviour (Model 2), or on the idea that verbal aggression, physical aggression and inappropriate sexual behaviour reflect broadly distinct but correlated clinical phenomena (Model 3). Model 3 provided the best fit to the data indicating that these behaviours can be viewed as distinct, but with substantial overlap. These data are important both for developing models concerning the architecture of behaviour as well as for clinical management in individuals with brain injury.
- , inappropriate sexual behaviour
- brain injury
- confirmatory factor analysis