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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/366

Title: Imagined versus actual violence: the role of cognitions in predicting violence risk
Authors: Lee, Ria J.
Keywords: Psychology;Violence;Criminal behavior
Issue Date: 7-Dec-2004
Abstract: This research examined variables that may link fantasized violence and actual violent acts. Specifically, the present study examined variables that may affect the proposed relationship between imagined and actual violence. One aim was to identify factors that may distinguish between non-offending individuals who report violent thoughts and individuals reporting similar thoughts who have been found to commit violent acts. The study looked at all types of violent behavior with a theoretical focus on sexually violent offending. Based on a social-cognitive and motivational framework, the current research considered different aspects of aggressive cognitions as they relate to criminal behavior. In particular, the focus was on the potential influence and relative importance of predictor variables such as psychopathy, substance abuse, and impulsivity. The research was aimed at identifying factors that may distinguish between offenders committing violent criminal acts and nonoffenders. An additional goal was to determine which risk and protective factors may help in assessing violence risk and determining appropriate interventions aimed at reducing risk for criminal offending in the presence of self-reported violent thoughts. Data for this study were available as part of an extensive, publicly accessible database, which is the result of a large-scale research project, the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study (Steadman et al., 1998; Monahan et al., 2001). The MacArthur study involved 1,136 participants from three sites (Kansas City, KS, Worcester, MA, and Pittsburgh, PA) who received inpatient psychiatric treatment and subsequently returned to the community. In addition, data were available for 519 participants from the community. A subsample of 336 participants who reported violent cognitions was used for the present study. A logistic regression analysis was run and results indicate total scores on the PCL:SV and gender were significant predictors of participants’ violent behavior in the presence of violent cognitions. Furthermore, it was found that substance abuse was negatively associated with violent behavior in participants reporting violent thoughts. Total scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and membership in the patient or community sample were not found to be significant predictors. Implications of these findings for treatment and other interventions are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/366
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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