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November 1972

Historical Data in the Evaluation of Violent Subjects: A Hypothesis Generating Study

Author Affiliations

Hyg; Boston
From the Harvard Medical School; the Department of Psychiatry, Boston City Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health (Dr. Climent); and the Stanley Cobb Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Ervin).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(5):621-624. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750290047009

Data obtained on a group of emergency room patients with a presenting complaint of violence (No. = 40) are compared with data on a matched control group of relatives (No. = 40) of other emergency room patients. The comparison is made on selected neurological and sociopsychiatric variables. The results show that: severe head injury before the age of 10 is not associated with violent adult behavior; that there is no difference discernible as to many neurotic childhood traits; that the violent subjects acknowledge a greater number of suicidal thoughts than do the controls; and that no difference in violent criminal history exists between the groups. Based on these results, specific hypotheses for further analytical studies are suggested.