The link between mental health, crime and violence

Chelsea Halle, Kalliopi Tzani Pepelasi, Ntaniella Pylarinou, Anita Fumagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Research investigating the link between mental health, crime and violence often rely on populations that are at a high-risk of violent and criminal behaviour, such as prison inmates and psychiatric patients. As a result of this selection bias, the relationship between mental health, criminal and violent behaviour is significantly over-estimated, with mental health being incorrectly linked with violent and criminal behaviours. This study examines the relationship between mental health, violence and crime in a more representative community-based sample. One hundred and twenty-one individuals with and without a mental health disorder reported their involvement in crime and completed an aggression questionnaire. The results revealed that there is no statistically significant difference in terms of violence and crime involvement between individuals with a mental health diagnosis and those without. Moreover, the study did not find any statistically significant associations between specific mental health disorders and specific crime offences. The findings suggest that certain mental health disorders do not strongly contribute to crime violence and involvement. Limitations and implications are discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100779
Number of pages8
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Early online date19 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


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