Mental disorder and violence: An examination of stressful life events and impaired social support

Eric Silver, Brent Teasdale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on the relationship between mental disorder and violence has focused largely on the effects of clinical characteristics, such as treatment adherence and psychotic symptoms, with little attention to the potentially important role of stressful life events and impaired social support. Yet, stressful life events and impaired social support have been found to be significantly associated with the onset and course of mental disorder and with the occurrence of violence. This raises the question: Do stressful life events and impaired social support contribute to the association between mental disorder and violence? The current study addresses this question using general population data from the Durham site of the National Institute of Mental Health's Epidemiological Catchment Area Surveys (N = 3,438). Results indicate that when stressful life events and impaired social support are controlled, the association between mental disorder and violence is substantially reduced. Implications for future research on the relationship between mental disorder and violence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-78
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Problems
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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