Physical and sexual abuse, salivary cortisol, and neurologic correlates of violent criminal behavior in female prison inmates.
ABSTRACT Both physical and emotional traumas have been related to neurologic and neuroendocrine abnormalities that may be associated with violent behavior.
A modified case-control design was used for blinded comparison of 113 female inmates convicted of violent and nonviolent crimes. History of having been physically or sexually abused, neurologic history and physical examination, basal salivary cortisol levels, and associated variables were investigated to identify possible risk factors for violent compared to nonviolent criminal convictions.
Of all inmates studied, 95% had neurologic histories predating the current crime and/or neurologic examination abnormalities. Logistic regression revealed morning cortisol levels, number of years since last abuse, number of prior suicide attempts, and traumatic brain injuries with loss of consciousness to be significantly associated with current violent convictions, with a mean of two brain injuries with loss of consciousness per subject in the violent group.
A greater number of traumatic brain injuries with loss of consciousness and suicide attempts, more recent abuse, and low morning basal salivary cortisol levels could be associated with dangerous violent criminal behavior, including murder, in female prison inmates. Future research should investigate neuroendocrine challenges, more psychiatric and violence measures, and different populations with longitudinal designs.
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ABSTRACT: Little is understood about childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) and lifetime violent crime perpetration. The purpose was to evaluate TBI before the age of 15 years and other childhood environmental factors, mental health, and lifetime history of committing a violent crime. A cross-sectional study of 636 male and female offenders from a southeastern state prison population was conducted using Chi-squared tests, t tests, and logistic regression to determine factors associated with ever committing a violent crime. Committing a violent crime was associated with male gender, younger age, greater childhood sexual abuse (CSA), greater childhood emotional abuse, no TBI by the age of 15 years, and greater neighborhood adversity during childhood. Although TBI has been related to violent and nonviolent crime, this study showed that absence of TBI by the age of 15 years was associated with lifetime violent crime when adjusting for CSA, childhood emotional abuse, and neighborhood adversity during childhood. This builds upon neurobehavioral development literature suggesting that CSA and the stress of violence exposure without direct physical victimization may play a more critical role in lifetime violent criminal behavior than childhood TBI. Violence risk reduction must occur during childhood focusing on decreasing adversity, especially violence exposure as a witness as well as a direct victim.Journal of Forensic Nursing 01/2015; 11(1):4-14. DOI:10.1097/JFN.0000000000000062
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ABSTRACT: Emotional dysregulation has been proposed as a hallmark of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Mindfulness techniques taught in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) appear to be effective in reducing affective symptoms and may enhance emotion regulation in BPD patients. In the present study, we assessed whether 10 weeks of DBT-mindfulness (DBT-M) training added to general psychiatric management (GPM) could improve emotion regulation in BPD patients. A total of 35 patients with BPD were included and sequentially assigned to GPM (n = 17) or GPM plus DBT-M (n = 18). Participants underwent a negative emotion induction procedure (presentation of standardized unpleasant images) both pre-intervention and post-intervention. Clinical evaluation was also performed before and after treatment. No differences were observed in emotional response at the post-treatment session. However, patients in the DBT-M group showed greater improvement in clinical symptoms. Formal mindfulness practice was positively correlated with clinical improvements and lower self-reported emotional reactivity. Our preliminary results suggest that mindfulness training reduces some psychiatric symptoms but may not have a clear effect on how patients respond to emotional stimuli in an experimental setting. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. KEY PRACTITIONER MESSAGE: No clear effect of mindfulness training was observed on emotional response to a negative emotion induction procedure. Application of the DBT-M module jointly to GPM induced better clinical outcomes than GPM alone. Formal mindfulness practice showed a positive impact on emotion regulation and clinical improvement.Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 07/2014; 21(4). DOI:10.1002/cpp.1837 · 2.59 Impact Factor