Personality Disorders Predict Violence in Women. (Significant Comorbidity)

Article excerpt

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. -- Certain personality disorders are highly associated with incarceration for violent crimes, according to a study of 261 female inmates reported by Janet I. Warren, D.S.W., at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

In particular, diagnosis of any duster A personality disorder was significantly associated with convictions for violent crimes and prostitution. Diagnosis of any cluster B personality disorder was significantly associated only with self-report of institutional violence. However, when the investigators examined individual cluster B personality disorders, they found that those with narcissistic personality disorder were much more likely to be convicted of violent crimes, compared with the entire sample. No significant association with violence was found in inmates with cluster C personality disorders.

Dr. Warren, professor of clinical psychiatric medicine at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, initially screened 802 female inmates for personality disorders with a variety of instruments, including the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SCID-II).

The investigators examined three groups of women. One group, made up of 86 women, did not meet the criteria for any personality disorder. The second group, made up of 132 women, met diagnostic criteria for cluster B psychopathy. The third group, made up of 37 women, met diagnostic criteria for one or more non-cluster B disorder.

The most common diagnoses were antisocial personality disorder, seen in 43% of the sample, paranoid personality disorder, seen in 27% of the sample, and borderline personality disorder, seen in 24% of the sample.

The least common diagnoses were schizoid personality disorder, seen in 5% of the sample, and schizotypal personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder, each seen in 4% of the sample. …