Date of Award


Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

Committee Chair

Lisa Nored

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Thomas Panko

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Mary Evans

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice


Aggressive behaviors which result in harm and injury present a major problem for public health and the criminal justice system (Fish, de Vold, & Miczek, 2002). Yet, no adequate treatment options have been found. In order to help develop specific anti-aggressive treatment, clinical aggression research has begun to focus on the neurobiological determinants of aggressive behavior. Increasing research has developed over the years in response to this need for treatment. By studying the prefrontal cortex, researchers found that several neurotransmitters are related to aggressive behavior (Barrett, Edinger, & Siegel, 1990). Serotonin and dopamine interaction in the prefrontal cortex, along with other biological factors such as norepinephrine and testosterone were found to contribute to aggression (M. Giammanco, Tabacchi, S. Giammanco, Di Majo, & La Guardina, 2005). This study will focus solely on the interaction between serotonin and dopamine because of their well-established association with impulsive aggression and their significance in explaining behavior disorders. Using a systematic review of the literature as the primary methodology, this study analyzed academic literature between 1992-2012 and examined the impact of serotonin and dopamine on human behavior.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 20, 2018