Revised Overt Aggression Scale – Modified

J. Mattes, M.D.

Rate episodes since last rating (with a maximum rating period of four weeks). Rate frequency (per week) of episodes at each severity level. Rate each episode at its maximum severity, e.g., an assault causing "serious physical injury" would not also be rated as causing "some physical harm." However, an episode involving verbal aggression, damage to property, and assault would be rated on all three dimensions.

Put one of the following numbers in each of the blanks below to rate the frequency with which each type of behavior occurred since the last rating. If this is the first time you are using this scale, rate behavior occurring in the last 4 weeks

0 = none

1= up to once per week

2= up to three times per week

3= 4 – 10 times per week

4= more than 10 times per week

1. Verbal aggression:

_____1=Mild: e.g., irritable with others, raised voice, mild cursing

_____2= Moderate: e.g., personally insulting (“You're stupid”), more severe cursing

_____3=Severe: e.g., threatened others

2. Aggression against objects:

_____1.=Mild: e.g., slammed the door, picked up chair, threw clothes in anger

_____2.=Moderate: e.g., broke inconsequential item, (e.g., a glass)

_____3.=Severe: more significant damage, e.g. holes in walls, dented car, broke computer

3. Assault against others: Assessment of intentional physical attacks against other people.

_____1=Made threatening gestures

_____2=Assault resulting in no physical harm to other (including throwing objects at others)

_____3=Assault resulting in minor injuries, e.g., a bruise

_____4=Assault resulting in injury requiring medical attention

Now please use the scales below to rate aggression and irritability.

Global overt aggression

0=Not at all (or only subjectively felt anger)

1=Slight: occasional snapping; this is of doubtful clinical significance

2=Mild: argumentative, quick to express annoyance

3= Moderate: e.g., often shouts, loses temper, slams doors

4=Moderately severe: worse than moderate, e.g., some breakage, pushing others

5=Severe: e.g., more breakage, more seriously assaultive

6=Extreme: repeatedly seriously violent against things or persons

_____ Please write rating of global aggression in the blank to the left.

5. Global subjective irritability: Intensity and duration of feelings of irritability, anger, resentment, annoyance; this item rates only subjective feelings, not overt aggression.

0=Not at all, not clinically significant.

1=Slight: doubtful clinical significance

2=Mild: more than called for but only occasional and never intense.

3=Moderate: often aware of feeling angry or patiently, very angry.

4=Much: aware of feeling angry most of the time or often very angry.

5=Extreme: almost constantly aware of feeling very angry

_____ Please write the rating of global irritability in the blank to the left.


For each of the three types of aggression, the score equals the sum of severity times frequency.

The total aggression score equals verbal aggression score plus aggression against objects score plus 2 x assault against other score. The global overt aggression items and the global subjective irritability items are recorded separately.