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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76828 Find in a Library
Title: Crimes of Violence and Alcohol Abuse in Sweden
Journal: International Journal of the Addictions  Volume:14  Issue:8  Dated:(1979)  Pages:1103-1115
Author(s): B Roslund; C A Larson
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Swedish Medical Research Council
Grant Number: B77-27X-4945-01
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between alcohol abuse and crimes of violence is explored through examination of the files of 793 offenders who submitted to forensic psychiatric evaluation at a Swedish university from 1972 through 1976.
Abstract: The files yielded 346 perpetrators of crimes of violence against persons and 447 other offenders. The median and mode ages of the offenders were 25 and 22 years, respectively. Of the 44 percent who were guilty of crimes of violence against persons, 68 percent were drunk when committing the crime. Among the nonviolent offenders, 38 percent were drunk at the time. The exception to the pattern of drunkenness when committing violent crimes against persons occurred with regard to psychotic assailants. This analysis suggests an association between inebriation and bursts of violence. Socioeconomic and educational strata did not appear to correlate significantly with violent behavior. Weekend violence was evident among lower class subjects, but upper class subjects contributed a higher proportion of violence among all offenses. Thus, personal and interpersonal distress appears to result in inebriation, while socioeconomic and educational shortcomings do not. Thus, drinking patterns in Sweden and the United States appear to be similar. However, the homicide rate in Sweden is about one-tenth of that in the United States. One explanation for this difference may involve the use of firearms. Swedish killings occur by firearms 23 percent of the time; in the United States the figure is 67 percent. Further studies of personality traits of violence-prone offenders are recommended. Tables and 15 references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Alcohol-crime relationship; Alcohol-Related Offenses; Psychological evaluation; Psychological research; Studies; Sweden; United States of America; Violent crimes
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