Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey on the frequency of violent behavior in individuals with psychiatric disorders

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, 1033 University Place, Suite 450, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 10/2005; 136(2-3):153-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2005.06.005
Source: PubMed


Previous studies using probability samples have found a noticeable, but small association between violence and psychiatric disorder. In this article, we analyze data from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) to further examine this question. Psychiatric diagnosis of survey responses was based on a modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. The NCS study also included items that permitted self-report of violent behaviors in the past year. People with 12-month diagnoses of anxiety disorders, dysthymia and major depression were three to four times more likely to admit violent behaviors than those with no disorders. People with bipolar disorder or drug and alcohol abuse were eight times more likely to report violent behaviors. People with co-occurring non-substance and substance abuse disorders were more likely to report violence than those with only non-abuse disorders. Adjusting violence rates by population base rates shows demographics including ethnicity and gender to be a better predictor of violent behavior than psychiatric diagnosis. The NCS findings approximate those in other probability studies and echo the conclusions of the 1996 Consensus Statement by Advocates and Researchers on violence and mental illness; namely, mental illness is only a weak predictor of violent behavior.

10 Reads
    • "Adults with mental illnesses are at heightened risk for violence, both perpetration (Corrigan & Watson, 2005; Van Dorn et al., 2012) and victimization (Goodman et al., 1999; Teplin et al., 2005); however, few studies have had the capability and/or objective to identify an overlap between the two violent outcomes. Thus, the present study's primary objective was to examine the victim–perpetrator overlap in a large, pooled sample of adults with mental illnesses. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: In a large heterogeneous sample of adults with mental illnesses, we examined the 6-month prevalence and nature of community violence perpetration and victimization, as well as associations between these outcomes. Methods: Baseline data were pooled from 5 studies of adults with mental illnesses from across the United States (n = 4480); the studies took place from 1992 to 2007. The MacArthur Community Violence Screening Instrument was administered to all participants. Results: Prevalence of perpetration ranged from 11.0% to 43.4% across studies, with approximately one quarter (23.9%) of participants reporting violence. Prevalence of victimization was higher overall (30.9%), ranging from 17.0% to 56.6% across studies. Most violence (63.5%) was perpetrated in residential settings. The prevalence of violence-related physical injury was approximately 1 in 10 overall and 1 in 3 for those involved in violent incidents. There were strong associations between perpetration and victimization. Conclusions: Results provided further evidence that adults with mental illnesses experienced violent outcomes at high rates, and that they were more likely to be victims than perpetrators of community violence. There is a critical need for public health interventions designed to reduce violence in this vulnerable population.
    American Journal of Public Health 12/2014; 104(12):2342-2349. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301680 · 4.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "However, two more recent studies using robust data sources and more rigorous methodologies tell a different story. Unlike previous studies, Corrigan and Watson (2005) examined violence in all those in the US National Comorbidity Survey who met the criteria for mental illness but were not necessarily diagnosed or in treatment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined how different types of mental illness elicited varying levels of predicted criminality and compared this with factors which might also elicit a negative response, specifically, a criminal history and social disadvantage. A sample of 243 participants undertook an anonymous, online experiment. Each participant was exposed to one of six vignettes: three involved mental illness (schizophrenia, depression/anxiety, or alcohol dependency); two in which socio-economic background was manipulated; and a control. The impact of mental illness, history of criminality and social disadvantage on the likelihood that the character in the vignette would commit future crime, and levels of sympathy, trust and potential for rehabilitation in the character were measured. Age and personal experience of mental illness and/or criminal behaviour in the participants was also examined. The sample were significantly more likely to think that a character would 'possibly' commit future crime if he had mental illness in comparison to the control, but crimes were expected to be minor. Significantly more discriminatory behaviour was reported towards the character with no mental illness but a disadvantaged background. Familiarity ameliorated this effect. Prejudice towards those with a criminal past and a disadvantaged background may be stronger than prejudice against those with mental illnesses.
    03/2013; 209(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.02.013
  • Source
    • "Another defining feature of mania and an important clinical concern is anger. Several epidemiological studies have now found that bipolar disorder is related to highly elevated rates of physical fighting (Corrigan & Watson 2005) and violent offending (Casiano et al. 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For over two decades, theorists have suggested that mania relates to heightened sensitivity of the behavioral activation system (BAS). In this article, we review a burgeoning empirical literature on this model, drawing on both cross-sectional and prospective studies. As evidence has emerged for this model, we argue that it is time to consider more specific aspects of BAS sensitivity in this disorder. We review evidence that bipolar disorder relates to an increased willingness to expend effort toward reward and to increases in energy and goal pursuit after an initial reward. We conclude by considering the strengths and weaknesses of this literature, with an eye toward future directions and implications for treatment.
    Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 04/2011; 8(1):243-67. DOI:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032511-143148 · 12.67 Impact Factor
Show more