OBJECTIVE: Although violent behavior is one of the most important
factors that have a detrimental effect on quality of life, there are very
few quantitative epidemiological studies published on this issue. In
particular, female homicidal behavior has remained poorly studied. This
study reveals the association between some specific DSM-III-R disorders and
female homicidal behavior. METHOD: The author reviewed forensic psychiatric
examination of 127 female homicide offenders in Finland over a 13-year
period. RESULTS: Female homicide offenders had about a 10-fold higher odds
ratio than the general female population for having schizophrenia or a
personality disorder. The disorders with the most substantially higher odds
ratios were alcohol abuse/dependence and antisocial personality disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Mental disorders appear to have a statistical relationship
with homicidal behavior in countries with relatively low crime rates. On
the basis of the data, there may be special subgroups of women among whom
the risk of homicidal behavior is very high.