Researchers Identify Violent Behavior Cues

The effective prediction of violent behavior can prevent future situations that can involve illegal acts or even death. Violent behavior can be the result of childhood conditions, alcohol intake and personality disorders. New research from the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital Psychiatry Centre show that diagnosing severe personality disorders, evaluating the childhood environment, assessing alcohol consumption and the analysis of the MAOA genotype could provide more accurate methods for assess risk among violent offenders. Science Daily recently posted a release on this research. “The many negative effects of violence could be alleviated by improving the accuracy of predicting violent behavior. Lack of knowledge about the root causes of violence is, however, an impediment for such predictions,” says Roope Tikkanen, MD, in Science Daily. Tikkanen analyzed the risk factors using research data collected by Professor Matti Virkkunen. This data was the result of court-ordered mental status examinations carried out in Finland during 1990-1998. Of the 242 men, the majority suffered from alcoholism and severe personality disorders. Recidivistic acts of violence and mortality was high among this group at 32 percent and 16 percent, respectively. The risk of both increased substantially when severe personality disorders and childhood adversities played a role. A particularly poor prognosis was found in offenders with BPD and a history of childhood maltreatment. “The risks of violent reconvictions and mortality accumulate in clear subgroups of violent offenders. Diagnosing severe personality disorders, assessing childhood environments and long-term alcohol consumption, and analyzing the MAOA genotype may be tools that can in the future be employed in the prevention of recidivism and mortality and improving the accuracy of risk assessment among offenders,” added Tikkanen.

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