Assessing risk of violent behavior among veterans with severe mental illness

J Trauma Stress. 2008 Feb;21(1):113-7. doi: 10.1002/jts.20283.


Although empirical research has examined factors associated with increased violence risk among individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) and among veterans without SMI, less attention has been devoted to identifying violence risk factors among veterans with SMI. Using multivariable analysis of a large pooled sample of individuals with SMI, this study examines violence risk factors of N = 278 veterans with SMI. In multivariate modeling, violence by veterans with SMI was associated with head injury, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and homelessness. Results support the view clinicians assessing violence risk among veterans with SMI should consider a combination of characteristics empirically related to violence by non-veterans with SMI (e.g., homelessness) and veterans without SMI (e.g., PTSD).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*