Do Community Structural Characteristics Moderate the Association Between Mental Health and the Frequency and Severity of Violent-Behavioral Outcomes in Community Respondents?

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (Masters)
Final version published as: 

Shaffer, C. S., Douglas, K. S., Fuller, E. K., Blanchard, A. J. E., & Viljoen, J. L. (2019). Do Community Structural Characteristics Moderate the Association Between Mental Health and the Frequency and Severity of Violent-Behavioral Outcomes in Community Respondents? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260519888204. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260519888204.

Date created: 
2019-12-02
Identifier: 
DOI: 10.1177/0886260519888204
Keywords: 
Crime pattern theory
Mental disorder
Social disorganization theory
Violence perpetration
Violent victimization
Abstract: 

In this prospective study, we examined the association between three types of mental health symptom clusters (i.e., psychotic, internalizing, and externalizing) and the frequency and severity of violent-behavioral outcomes, and whether community disadvantage, residential instability, and criminogenic facility density moderated these associations. Study data were derived from 258 community-dwelling adults nested in 60 postal forward sortation areas (FSAs) in a large metropolitan area in Western Canada who were assessed twice over a 6-month period. In addition, census and administrative data were obtained on the same areas. Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, relationship status, and employment status), lifetime history of violent-behavioral outcomes, and community structural characteristics, internalizing and externalizing mental health symptoms were significantly positively associated with the frequency and severity of subsequent violence perpetration and with the severity of subsequent violent victimization. Several significant interactions were observed: internalizing symptoms increased the risk of frequent and severe violence perpetration in FSAs with high but not low disadvantage, and externalizing symptoms increased the risk of frequent violent victimization in FSAs with a high but not low criminogenic facility density. Only the interactive association of internalizing symptoms and community disadvantage with the severity of violence perpetration, however, remained significant after Bonferroni correction was applied. These findings provide tentative support that associations between mental health and violent-behavioral outcomes can vary with community context. The implication of these findings for assessing and managing violent-behavioral outcomes in the community is discussed.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
Rights remain with the authors.
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