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Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 23–31 | Cite as

Violence and Mental Illness: A New Analytic Approach

  • Charles W. Lidz
  • Steven Banks
  • Lorna Simon
  • Carol Schubert
  • Edward P. Mulvey
Article

Empirical studies of violence and mental illness have used many different methods. Current state-of-the-art methods gather information from both subject and collateral interviews as well as official records. Typically these sources are treated as additive. Any report of a violent incident from any source is treated as true and all reported incidents are added to generate estimates of frequency. This paper presents a new statistical technique that uses the level of agreement between the sources of data to adjust those estimates. The evidence suggests that, although the additive technique for using multiple sources correctly estimates how many people are involved, it substantially underestimates the number of incidents. The new technique substantially reduces both false negatives and false positives.

KEY WORDS

violence mental illness measurement 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Work on this paper was partially supported by NIMH Grants: NIMH Grant #MH57685 and MH40030.

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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Lidz
    • 1
    • 3
  • Steven Banks
    • 1
  • Lorna Simon
    • 1
  • Carol Schubert
    • 2
  • Edward P. Mulvey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.WPIC 3811 O’Hara St.PittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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