[Psychopathology and recidivism among violent offenders with a dual diagnosis. A comparison with other subgroups of violent offenders]

J E van Horn, M J Eisenberg, S van Kuik, G M van Kinderen
Tijdschrift Voor Psychiatrie 2012, 54 (6): 497-507

BACKGROUND: Offenders with a dual diagnose (DD) are more likely than other offenders to repeat delinquent behavior.

AIM: To investigate whether male violent offenders with substance-related disorders and co-occurring disorders differed from other subgroups of violent offenders in terms of substance disorders, psychopathology, and recidivism. We expected to find that persons with a dual diagnosis would more often be diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder and antisocial personality disorder. We also expected that they could have the highest recidivism rates.

METHOD: Our sample consisted of 148 (domestic) violent offenders subdivided into offenders with a substance-related disorder and comorbid disorders (dual diagnosis group; n = 50), offenders without an axis I or axis II disorder (n = 28), offenders with a substance-related disorder (n = 23), and offenders with one or several comorbid axis I disorders (excluding substance related disorders) and/or axis II disorders (n = 47).

RESULTS: Survival analyses showed - with an average follow-up period of 79,6 months - significantly higher general (60%) and violent (44,9%) recidivism rates in the DD-group than in the other subgroups in which the rates were lower than 40% for both general and violent recidivism. Results of Cox regression analyses indicated that merely belonging to the DD-group increased the risk of violent recidivism by a factor of 5.21.

CONCLUSIONS: The DD-delinquents under study did not differ fundamentally from other subgroups of (domestic) violent offenders as far as substance-related disorders and psychopathology were concerned. However, they did engage more often in recidivism, committing general or violent offences.

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