Violence and mental health disorders

Bruce D. Watt, Rebekah M. Doley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryResearchpeer-review


[Extract] Violence refers to the physical actions of a person directed toward another person with the potential to cause harm. Such actions are nonaccidental and include threats to harm, use of physical force, and use of a weapon. Mental health is a broad term incorporating aspects of individuals’ thinking, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to well-being and interpersonal and vocational functioning. Mental health disorders are defined as aberrations in thinking, emotions, and/or behavior, causing functional impairment or distress. Individuals with a mental health disorder are at an elevated risk of perpetrating a violent act compared with individuals without a disorder. Conversely, the majority of individuals experiencing a mental health disorder do not perpetrate acts of violence on others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
EditorsAmy Wenzel
Place of PublicationThousand Oaks
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781483365831
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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