Psychiatric aspects of homicide

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1981 Nov;64(5):363-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1981.tb00795.x.


Homicide is frequently associated with mental illness and suicide. The present study is an investigation of all known homicide incidents in Iceland during the past 80 years (1900-1979). There were 45 homicide incidents, involving 52 victims and 47 offenders. One-third of the perpetrators were either psychotic, mentally subnormal, or committed suicide. A further one-third were diagnosed as personality disordered, alcoholic, drug dependent or neurotic. A substantial proportion of the offenders suffered from fairly marked physical disabilities, and the mentally ill were significantly more frequently afflicted by such defects. Over 60% of the offenders and 50% of the victims were under the influence of alcohol at the material time. The findings are generally consistent with those of previous psychiatric studies of homicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Iceland
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide / psychology