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Psychiatry Res. 2006 Aug 30;143(2-3):205-11. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Association of psychopathic traits and symptomatology with violence in patients with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Arara, Israel.


The main aim of the current study is to investigate the association of psychopathic traits and symptomatology with violence in male patients with schizophrenia. The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were administered to 35 hospitalized male patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Based on their history of violence, the sample was divided into violent (N = 19) and nonviolent (N = 16) groups. Data were analyzed using parametric, nonparametric and regression analyses. The mean psychopathy and hostility (component of the BPRS) scores were significantly higher for the violent group. Only three patients (16%), all from the violent group, met the diagnostic cutoff for psychopathy (a PCL-R score > or = 30). Regression analyses suggest that both the hostility component of the BPRS and the behavioral component of the PCL-R (Factor 2) are significant predictors of violent behavior in male patients with schizophrenia. However, when the psychopathy scores are high, the probability for violence is already considerable and the level of hostility has only a slight effect. These findings suggest that improvement in illness condition may not reduce the likelihood for violence in male patients with a high psychopathic profile.

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