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NCJ Number: 194573 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Disorder and Violent Victimization: The Mediating Role of Involvement in Conflicted Social Relationships
Journal: Criminology  Volume:40  Issue:1  Dated:February 2002  Pages:191-212
Author(s): Eric Silver
Date Published: March 2002
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether the relationship between mental disorder and violent victimization was attributable to the disproportionate involvement of mentally disordered people in conflicted social relationships.
Abstract: The data consisted of a sample of discharged psychiatric patients (n=270) and a sample of nonpatients (n=477) drawn from the same neighborhoods. Violent victimization was measured by a self-report interview that included the following questions: Has anyone hit you with a fist or object or beaten you up? Has anyone tried to physically force you to have sex against your will? Has anyone used a knife or fired a gun at you or threatened to do so with the weapon in hand? Seven percent of the subjects reported having been hit or beaten up during the past 10 weeks; 3 percent reported having been forced to have sex; and 2 percent reported having been threatened or attacked with a knife or gun. Involvement in conflicted social relationships was measured by summing two items that were embedded in a larger instrument designed to elicit information on subjects' social networks during the past 10 weeks. Specifically, subjects were asked to identify from their social networks anyone "with whom you really don't get along, or don't like, or who really upsets you," and anyone "who really doesn't seem to like you or who you seem to upset." Individual-level and neighborhood-level control variables were used in the analysis. Findings showed that mentally disordered patients were more likely to be violently victimized and to be involved in conflicted social relationships than the sample of nonpatients. Moreover, involvement in conflicted social relationships mediated the effect of mental disorder on violent victimization, a result that held when illegal drug use by the patients was taken into account. Implications for research and theory are discussed. 4 tables and 36 references
Main Term(s): Victimization risk
Index Term(s): Persons with cognitive disabilities; Victim profiles; Victim-offender relationships; Violent crimes
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