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Published Online: July 1990

Violence and Psychiatric Disorder in the Community: Evidence From the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Surveys


Data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area survey were used to examine the relationship between violence and psychiatric disorders among adults living in the community. Psychiatric assessment of survey respondents was based on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, which also provided self-report information about violent behavior. Those who reported violent behavior within the preceding year tended to be young, male, and of low socioeconomic status, and more than half met DSM-III criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders. Subjects with alcohol or drug use disorders were more than twice as likely as those with schizophrenia to report violent behavior. In a multivariate model of the predictors of violence, a significant interaction effect was found between major mental illness and substance abuse. The risk of violent behavior increased with the number of psychiatric diagnoses for which respondents met DSM-III criteria.

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Go to Psychiatric Services
Go to Psychiatric Services
Psychiatric Services
Pages: 761 - 770


Published in print: July 1990
Published online: 1 April 2006



Charles E. Holzer, III
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Austin
Center for Cross-Cultural Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


202 Gail Borden Building, F-24, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas 77550

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