The relationship between a psychopathic personality and violence in schizophrenics

Helene S. Wallach, Rami Mairaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was undertaken to explore the major contribution of psychopathy to the level of violence among hospitalized schizophrenics. A secondary aim was to examine the differences among court referred and self or psychiatric referred schizophrenics. Fifty-two schizophrenic patients hospitalized through the court and forty-eight through psychiatric or self referral participated in this study. Psychopathy was rated using the Hare psychopathy checklist (PCL-SV). Ratings of violence were severity of last offense committed using Wolfgang et al.'s offense severity scale. Demographic and clinical variables were taken from the patients' files. As expected, level of psychopathy correlated with level of violence, as well as differentiating between court referred and psychiatric or self referred schizophrenics. These results point to the importance of considering psychopathy scores as major risk factors for violence among schizophrenics. In addition, the two groups (court referred versus self/psychiatric referral) appear to be fundamentally different, as suggested by psychopathy scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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