Childhood origins of violent behaviour in adults with schizophreniform disorder.
BACKGROUND:People with psychosis have an elevated risk of violence. AIMS:To examine whether violent behaviour in adults with psychosis can be accounted for by psychotic symptoms or physical aggression in childhood. METHOD:We used data from a prospective longitudinal study of a complete birth cohort born in New Zealand. When cohort members were 26 years old, information was obtained on past-year psychiatric diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder and on violent behaviour. Childhood psychotic symptoms were measured at age 11 years using a diagnostic interview, and childhood physical aggression was assessed by teachers when cohort members were aged 7, 9 and 11 years. RESULTS:Participants with schizophreniform disorder were more likely to be violent than participants without, even after controlling for sociodemographic variables and concurrent substance dependence disorders. Childhood psychotic symptoms were a strong risk factor for violence in adults with schizophreniform disorder, as was childhood physical aggression, although to a lesser extent. CONCLUSIONS:Violence by individuals with schizophreniform disorder could be prevented by monitoring early signs of psychotic symptoms and by controlling childhood physical aggression.
Arseneault, L; Cannon, M; Murray, R; Poulton, R; Caspi, A; Moffitt, TE
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