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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Personality disorders and violence

  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 1
Annals of General Psychiatry20087 (Suppl 1) :S322

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Confounding Factor
  • Recent Literature
  • Cognitive Deficit


The purpose of this paper is to review the most recent literature on the relationship between personality disorders and violent behavior. It does not aim to address the issue of a possible etiological connection between being early the victim of violent acts and latter developing a PD.

Materials and methods

Recent data suggest that PDs and especially antisocial and borderline are strongly related to the manifestation of violent acts. Substance abuse is another strong factor which could act either independently or additively. Biological factors seem to constitute a risk factor for violent behaviour independently of personality. Although IQ does not seem to relate to violence, some patients may manifest specific cognitive deficits. The ethical and legal questions posed by the above mentioned correlations are difficult to answer and research has not provided enough data on this issue yet.


The most recent data support the relationship between antisocial personality and violence, especially when a substance abuse is also present, although the presence of confounding factors in the diagnostic criteria suggest caution in the interpretation of the literature.

Authors’ Affiliations

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Klinik fór Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der TU-Mónchen, Germany


© Fountoulakis et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.