Date of Award

Spring 2010

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

James Tucker


Previous studies have suggested that psychiatric patients are more likely to be violent then the individuals in the general population. This thesis uses data collected in MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study to compare violent behaviors perpetrated by psychiatric patients in 10 weeks after their release from a psychiatric hospital and by subjects living in a similar community setting. Furthermore, Gottfredson and Hirschis's (1990) self control theory is applied to examine etiological causes of violence. The outcomes suggest that psychiatric patients were more likely to be violent during the study period than the community control subjects. The difference in violence rates between these groups did not remain statically significant when a self control measure was introduced in the multiple logistic regression analysis, controlling for social and demographic variables and social desirability.