A person with a passive-aggressive behavior pattern may appear to comply or act appropriately, but actually behaves negatively and passively resists. In the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, passive-aggressiveness is not officially characterized as a personality disorder. Instead, passive-aggressiveness is labeled as an area that needs further study.

The cause of passive-aggressiveness is unknown. There may be environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the development of this behavior pattern.

Prefrontal Cortex
Prefrontal cortex brain
This part of the brain is believed to control our ability to act in a way that is socially appropriate. Biological changes to this area may contribute to behavior patterns.
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