Community violence and inpatient assaults: neurobiological deficits

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1997 Fall;9(4):549-55. doi: 10.1176/jnp.9.4.549.


The goals of this study were to examine the relationship between community violence and inpatient assaults and to identify neurological and neuropsychological deficits underlying violent behavior. Thirty-three inpatients with a history of community violence were compared with 69 patients who did not have such a history. Inpatient assaults were recorded for 4 weeks; a neurological/neuropsychological battery was then administered. Patients without community violence were more likely to show transient or no violence while in the hospital. Patients with community violence performed more poorly on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and on psychomotor tasks, impairments that are consistent with frontal lobe dysfunction. Inpatient assaults were not associated with these neuropsychological impairments. They were related, however, to impairment on frontal motor programming tasks and a history of community violence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Violence / psychology*


  • Psychotropic Drugs