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Criminal history in schizophrenia: associations with substance use and disorganized symptoms

Rena Fukunaga & Paul H. Lysaker
Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 3, 2013, pages 293-308.


Many with schizophrenia tend to experience problems with the legal system. Yet little is still known about the correlates of the history of incarceration, as well as frequency of misdemeanor and felony convictions within community samples. To explore this question, we gathered legal and substance abuse histories, and assessments of symptoms and neurocognitive function from 96 adults in a nonacute phase of schizophrenia. ANOVA revealed history of incarceration to be linked with more severe drug and alcohol abuse histories, and greater positive symptoms. Greater numbers of misdemeanor convictions were linked to more severe drug and alcohol abuse histories and greater levels of disorganized symptoms, whereas a greater number of felony convictions was only associated with more severe drug abuse histories. A stepwise multiple regression revealed that both the severity of severe drug abuse histories and levels of disorganized symptoms contributed to predicting 24% of the variance in the number of reported lifetime misdemeanor offenses.



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