Support for this research was provided by the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Mental Health and the Law. Special thanks go to Richard Felson, Bob Bursik, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.
MENTAL DISORDER AND VIOLENT VICTIMIZATION: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF INVOLVEMENT IN CONFLICTED SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS*
Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 191–212, February 2002
How to Cite
SILVER, E. (2002), MENTAL DISORDER AND VIOLENT VICTIMIZATION: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF INVOLVEMENT IN CONFLICTED SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS. Criminology, 40: 191–212. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2002.tb00954.x
Eric Silver is Assistant Professor of Crime, Law, and Justice, and Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University and a member of the National Science Foundation's National Consortium on Violence Research. His research focuses on the relationship between violence and mental illness and the role that social and contextual factors play in this relationship. Since 1994, he has served as Senior Data Analyst for the MacArthur Foundation's Violence Risk Assessment Study, a large-scale study of risk factors for violence among discharged psychiatric patients. He is co-author of numerous articles, books, and book chapters in the areas of violence, mental illness, and recidivism prediction. Address correspondence to Eric Silver, Department of Sociology, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA, 16802.
- Issue online: 7 MAR 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
This study examines whether the relationship between mental disorder and violent victimization is attributable to the disproportionate involvement of mentally disordered people in conflicted social relationships. The data consist of a sample of discharged psychiatric patients (N= 270) and a sample of nonpatients (N= 477) drawn from the same neighborhoods. Results show that mentally disordered patients were more likely to be victimized by violence and to be involved in conflicted social relationships. Moreover, involvement in conflicted social relationships mediated the effect of mental disorder on violent victimization, a result that held when illegal drug use by the patients was taken into account. Implications for research and theory are discussed.