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Aggress Behav. 2007 Sep-Oct;33(5):377-88.

Sectioned offenders presenting with enduring mental illness: a study exploring behaviors indicative of bullying.

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Psychological Services, Ashworth High Secure Hospital, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Liverpool, UK.


Logit and logistic regression analyses were employed to explore the nature, extent and predictors of behaviors indicative of "being bullied" and of "bullying others" in a sample of 125 adult male offender-patients sectioned for enduring mental illness and detained within a high-secure psychiatric hospital. The study addresses the lack of research into this specialized population to date, with a subsidiary aim of comparing the results directly with a previous study conducted with a population of adult male personality-disordered offender-patients (n = 53). Participants were required to complete a self-report behavioral checklist (Direct and Indirect Patient behavior Checklist-Hospital version Revised). The prediction that indirect (subtle) aggression would be reported more frequently than direct aggression was supported in relation to perpetration estimates, with evidence such aggression was also more prevalent among personality-disordered than mentally ill offender-patients. As predicted verbal aggression was the most commonly reported direct behavior. Although it was predicted that those perpetrating aggression would present with increased experience with secure settings this was only supported with regard to bully-victims. Contrary to the prediction made, those victimized did not present with less experience of secure settings. Consistent with the hypothesis, bully/victims were predicted by increased negative behavior toward staff and hospital rules. The results are discussed in relation to the environment in which the aggression is taking place with the implications for practice and future research outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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