Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

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 can have serious impacts on both the population at-large and the criminal justice system (Fish, DeBold, & Miczek, 2002); but despite these potential repercussions, no adequate treatment options have been identified to prevent (or reduce) such consequential actions. An increasing amount of research has, however, developed (over the years) in response to these treatment needs. Recently, the disciplines of neurobiology and neuropsychology have discovered specific anti-aggressive treatments. Studies on the prefrontal cortex specifically reveal that certain areas of the brain, along with an array of chemical imbalances, are related to aggressive behavior (Barrett, Edinger, & Siegel, 1990). Specifically, serotonin and dopamine imbalances in the prefrontal cortex were found to contribute to more aggressive behavior (Giammanco, Tabacchi, Giammanco, Di Majo, & La Guardina, 2005). Using a systematic review of the literature as the primary methodology, this study analyzed academic literature over a recent 20-year period (1992-2012) for indicators regarding the potential impact of serotonin and dopamine on human behavior.