U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Relationship of Mood Disorders to Violence

NCJ Number
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Volume: 178 Issue: 1 Dated: (1990) Pages: 44-47
Date Published
4 pages
A sample of 1,140 male felons recently incarcerated in North Carolina were analyzed according to the Diagnostic Interview Schedule to determine the relationship between specific mood disorder categories and symptoms and six conceptually different indicators of violent behavior. The six indicators include incidents of fighting in adulthood, recent arrests for violent offenses, current incarceration for expressive or instrumental violence, and lifetime arrests for expressive or instrumental violence; DIS DSM-III diagnoses for lifetime recurrent depression and dysthymia are used in the analysis.
The findings indicate a direct relationship between a lifetime diagnosis of dysthymia, and an arrest or incarceration history for robbery and multiple incidents of adult fighting. Recurrent depression was significantly related to a history of robbery incarceration, while depression symptoms were associated with multiple incidents of adult fighting. Manic symptoms were inconsistently associated with expressive violence. Several mood disorder/violence models showed no significant relationship. Future research should use specific mood disorder and symptom measures in order to permit firm inferences about the mood disorder/violence relationship. 2 tables and 13 references

Date Published: January 1, 1990