Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 183–190

Psychotic-like experiences and interpersonal violence in the general population


DOI: 10.1007/s00127-005-0020-4

Cite this article as:
Mojtabai, R. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2006) 41: 183. doi:10.1007/s00127-005-0020-4



Research on the association of psychopathology and violence has mainly focused on severe but rare mental disorders, especially psychotic disorders. However, evidence is growing that psychotic disorders are continuous with common psychotic-like experiences in the general population. This study aimed to examine the association of psychotic-like experiences with violence in a general population sample.


In 38,132 adult participants of the 2001 US National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, the association of psychotic-like experiences with violent behavior were examined.


Psychotic-like experiences were reported by 5.1% (N = 2,584) of adults in the community. These experiences were associated with increased risk of attacking someone with the intent of hurting that person (Odds Ratio [OR] = 5.72), intimate partner violence (OR = 4.97), arrests for aggravated assault (OR = 5.12), and arrests for other assault (OR = 3.65). The risk of violence increased with the number of psychotic-like experiences. Unusual perceptual experiences and paranoid ideations were more consistently associated with violence.


The link between psychopathology and interpersonal violence appears to expand beyond the limits of severe mental disorders and to include more common psychotic-like experiences in the general population.


psychotic-like experiencesviolenceaggressiongeneral population surveys

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryBeth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA