Violent behaviour among people with schizophrenia: a framework for investigations of causes, and effective treatment, and prevention

  • Hodgins S
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Robust evidence has accumulated showing that individuals who develop schizophrenia are at elevated risk when compared to the general population to engage in violence towards others. This violence impacts negatively on victims as well as perpetrators and poses a significant financial burden to society. It is posited that among violent offenders with schizophrenia there are three distinct types defined by the age of onset of antisocial and violent behaviour. The early starters display a pattern of antisocial behaviour that emerges in childhood or early adolescence, well before illness onset, and that remains stable across the lifespan. The largest group of violent offenders with schizophrenia show no antisocial behaviour prior to the onset of the illness and then repeatedly engage in aggressive behaviour towards others. A small group of individuals who display a chronic course of schizophrenia show no aggressive behaviour for one or two decades after illness onset and then engage in serious violence, often killing, those who care for them. We hypothesize that both the developmental processes and the proximal factors, such as symptoms of psychosis and drug misuse, associated with violent behaviour differ for the three types of offenders with schizophrenia, as do their needs for treatment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Schizophrenic Psychology
  • *Violence/prevention & control/psychology/statisti
  • Aggression/*physiology
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia/*physiopathology

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • S Hodgins

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free