Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Real in Their Consequences: A Sociological Approach to Understanding the Association between Psychotic Symptoms and Violence

Bruce G. Link, John Monahan, Ann Stueve and Francis T. Cullen
American Sociological Review
Vol. 64, No. 2 (Apr., 1999), pp. 316-332
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657535
Page Count: 17
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Real in Their Consequences: A Sociological Approach to Understanding the Association between Psychotic Symptoms and Violence
Preview not available

Abstract

Studies conducted over the past three decades have consistently reported an association between mental illness and violence. We propose a sociologically inspired explanation for this association by referring to the Thomas Theorem--if situations are defined as real, they are real in their consequences. We identify a small subset of psychotic symptoms, termed "threat/ control-override" symptoms, that tend to induce violence because they influence the definitions of situations. Our data come from an epidemiological study conducted in Israel that includes a psychiatrist- administered diagnostic interview. We find an association between violent behaviors and psychiatric diagnosis that cannot be accounted for by sociodemographic variables. Threat/control-override symptoms also are strongly related to violent behaviors and explain a substantial part of the association between violence and psychiatric diagnoses. Other equally severe psychotic symptoms are not related to indicators of violence when threat/control-override symptoms are controlled. These findings support our explanation for the association between mental illness and violence, and challenge the stereotype that most people with mental illnesses are dangerous.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
316
    316
  • Thumbnail: Page 
317
    317
  • Thumbnail: Page 
318
    318
  • Thumbnail: Page 
319
    319
  • Thumbnail: Page 
320
    320
  • Thumbnail: Page 
321
    321
  • Thumbnail: Page 
322
    322
  • Thumbnail: Page 
323
    323
  • Thumbnail: Page 
324
    324
  • Thumbnail: Page 
325
    325
  • Thumbnail: Page 
326
    326
  • Thumbnail: Page 
327
    327
  • Thumbnail: Page 
328
    328
  • Thumbnail: Page 
329
    329
  • Thumbnail: Page 
330
    330
  • Thumbnail: Page 
331
    331
  • Thumbnail: Page 
332
    332