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Perinatal and childhood risk factors for later criminality and violence in schizophrenia: Longitudinal, population-based study

  • Mary Cannon (a1), Matti O. Huttunen (a2), Antti J. Tansk Anen (a3), Louise Arseneault (a4), Peter B. Jones (a5) and Robin M. Murray (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Individuals with schizophrenia appear to be at increased risk for violent and criminal behaviour. Obstetric complications, neuromotor problems and intellectual deficits have variously been reported as increasing the risk for criminality in the general population.

Aims

To investigate whether such risk factors are associated with criminal behaviour in an epidemiological cohort of patients with schizophrenia.

Method

We identified from health care registers all individuals with schizophrenia born in Helsinki between 1951 and 1960, and used the national criminal register to identify those with a criminal record by 1995. Childhood information was obtained from archived birth and school records.

Results

Poor educational attainment, poor grades for attention at school, higher birth weight and larger head circumference were significantly associated with the risk of criminal offending in adulthood in this sample of patients with schizophrenia. An association between labour/delivery complications and later violent offending among male patients was of borderline significance.

Conclusions

Our hypotheses that birth complications and childhood neuromotor problems would increase the risk of criminal offending in schizophrenia were not upheld.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Mary Cannon, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: 020 7848 0415; fax: 020 7701 9044; e-mail: m.cannon@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Perinatal and childhood risk factors for later criminality and violence in schizophrenia: Longitudinal, population-based study

  • Mary Cannon (a1), Matti O. Huttunen (a2), Antti J. Tansk Anen (a3), Louise Arseneault (a4), Peter B. Jones (a5) and Robin M. Murray (a5)...
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