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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992 Jun;49(6):476-83.

Mental disorder, intellectual deficiency, and crime. Evidence from a birth cohort.

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  • Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

Studies of criminality among patients in psychiatric hospitals and of mental disorder among incarcerated offenders have suggested an association between the major mental disorders (schizophrenia and major affective disorders) and crime. However, these investigations are characterized by notable methodological weaknesses, and, consequently, this conclusion has remained tentative. Little is known about the criminality of intellectually handicapped people. The present study examined the relationship between crime and mental disorder and crime and intellectual deficiency in an unselected Swedish birth cohort followed up to age 30 years. It was found that men with major mental disorders were 2 1/2 times more likely than men with no disorder or handicap to be registered for a criminal offense and four times more likely to be registered for a violent offense. Women with major disorders were five times more likely than women with no disorder or handicap to be registered for an offense and 27 times more likely to be registered for a violent offense. These subjects committed many serious offenses throughout their lives. The criminal behavior in over half these cases appeared before the age of 18 years. Intellectually handicapped men were three times more likely to offend than men with no disorder or handicap and five times more likely to commit a violent offense. Intellectually handicapped women were almost four times more likely to offend than women with no disorder or handicap and 25 times more likely to commit a violent offense.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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PMID:
1599373
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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