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Psychiatr Q. 1997 Winter;68(4):327-42.

Violence and psychiatric disorders: results from an epidemiological study of young adults in Israel.

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Columbia University School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA.


This paper investigates the association between various psychiatric disorders and violent behavior using data from a community-based epidemiological study of young adults in Israel (N = 2678). Self-reports of recent fighting and weapon use were elevated among respondents diagnosed with psychotic or bipolar disorders but not among those diagnosed with non-psychotic depression, generalized anxiety disorder or phobias compared to respondents without these disorders. Violence was measured using the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview; psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using a modified version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. The analyses controlled for lifetime substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder and demographic characteristics, thereby extending support for a causal connection between some types of psychiatric disorders and violence. The association between disorder and violence was stronger among respondents with less education, indicating the potentially important role of social and cultural contexts in moderating the association between mental illness and violence.

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