Psychotic Experiences and Risk of Violence Perpetration and Arrest in the General Population: A Prospective Study

Steven Honings, Marjan Drukker, Margreet ten Have, Ron de Graaf, Saskia van Dorsselaer, Jim van Os*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background In cross-sectional, general population studies, psychotic experiences have been associated with an increased risk of physical violence perpetration and arrest. However, longitudinal research on this topic is lacking. Moreover, it remains unclear whether subjects with psychotic experiences are also at risk of displaying psychological violence. The present study aims to investigate these associations. Method The longitudinal association between baseline psychotic experiences and six-year incidence of violence perpetration and three-year incidence of arrest was studied in a prospective cohort of 6646 general population adults. Logistic regression analyses with varying levels of adjustment were performed in the complete sample and in subsamples stratified by presence or absence of baseline mental disorders. Results The presence of psychotic experiences at baseline increased the risk of physical violence, psychological violence and arrest at follow-up. However, adjustment for dimensional measures of psychopathology and contextual confounders reduced all associations considerably. After adjustment, both clinically validated (OR = 3.59, 95% CI 1.09-11.81) and self-reported hallucinations (OR = 2.83, 95% CI 1.05 7.65) remained significantly associated with physical violence perpetration. Self-reported (OR = 3.06, 95% CI 1.55-6.03) and clinically validated delusions (OR = 3.24, 95% CI 1.47-7.13) were associated with an increased risk of arrest. There was no significant association between psychotic experiences and incident psychological violence in the fully adjusted model. Conclusion Specific psychotic experiences may differentially predict physical violence perpetration and arrest, even after adjustment for demographics, dimensional measures of psychopathology and contextual confounders. However, more longitudinal research with larger sample sizes is required to confirm these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0159023
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2016

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