[Schizophrenia and violence. Results of a comprehensive inquiry in an Austrian providence]

Nervenarzt. 2001 Nov;72(11):859-66. doi: 10.1007/s001150170020.
[Article in German]


The question as to whether schizophrenics have an increased potential for delinquency and violent behavior has given rise to much controversy. During the past few years, a large number of epidemiological studies have demonstrated a moderate but reliable relation between schizophrenic disorders and violence. In the present study, a new approach at investigation was used by evaluating the overall rate of convictions and commitments to psychiatric institutions for general delinquency, violence, and homicide among schizophrenics. The most outstanding results demonstrated that the treatment of schizophrenic offenders was only insufficiently covered by the psychiatric care system, showed the lack of compliance in the study group, and demonstrated the high significance of coexisting acute and chronic alcohol and drug abuse. The risk of delinquency and violent behavior was much higher in schizophrenics than in the general population. It is indicated, however, that mentally ill delinquents are only of minor importance within the overall group of offenders and that better preventive and therapeutic measures present opportunities for prevention.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime / psychology
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Homicide / psychology
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*