Violence to Others, Violent Self-Victimization, and Violent Victimization by Others Among Persons With a Mental Illness

Objective

This research examined the frequency of and characteristics associated with three forms of violence among persons with mental illness—violence directed at others, self-directed violence, and violence directed at them by others.

Methods

Previously unreported data from a follow-up sample of 951 patients from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study were analyzed to characterize involvement in violence directed at others, self-directed violence, and violence directed at them by others.

Results

Most patients (58%) experienced at least one form of violence, 28% experienced at least two forms, and 7% experienced all three forms. Several diagnostic, social, and historical variables distinguished the groups.

Conclusions

Given the substantial overlap among the three forms of violence, clinicians should routinely screen patients who report one form for the occurrence of the other two. Co-occurrence of several forms of violence may require a package of interventions with components geared to each.
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Behavioral health, Criminal justice

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