Personality Disorder and Criminal Behaviour

What Is the Nature of the Relationship?

Sophie Davison; Aleksandar Janca


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2012;25(1):39-45. 

In This Article


Homicide followed by suicide is a rare but tragic phenomenon. Flynn et al.[13] reported that studies of homicide followed by suicide have not examined mental health characteristics in details. They conducted a national cross-section study of perpetrators in England and Wales 1996–2005 and found 203 incidents recorded. The median age was 41 and most were men. Men more often killed a spouse or partner and women more often killed their children. The most common primary diagnoses were personality disorder (32%) and affective disorder (26%). There was no difference in the proportion of offenders with personality disorder in the homicide–suicide sample compared with their large sample of homicide-only offenders. The characteristics of those with personality disorder were not reported on separately. Overall few homicide–suicide perpetrators had been in contact with services prior to the event. In fact, fewer perpetrators of homicide followed by suicide had been under the care of mental health services before the incident than in cases of suicide or homicide only. Interestingly, multivariate analysis showed the risk of suicide was six times greater when firearms were used in the homicide.


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