Childhood origins of violent behaviour in adults with schizophreniform disorder.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Arseneault, L; Cannon, M; Murray, R; Poulton, R; Caspi, A; Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • December 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 183 /

Start / End Page

  • 520 - 525

PubMed ID

  • 14645023

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-1465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-1250

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1192/bjp.183.6.520


  • eng