Violence in schizophrenic patients: The role of positive psychotic symptoms and frontal lobe impairment

Menahem Krakowski, Pal Czobor, Jan Libiger, Michal Kunz, Hana Papezova, B. B. Parker, Lorraine Schmader, Theresa Abad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to identify psychiatric symptoms and neurological impairments associated with physical assaults in schizophrenic patients. Newly admitted violent schizophrenic patients and nonviolent controls were assessed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Patients were followed for 4 weeks; some patients showed marked resolution of assaults and were classified as transiently violent (N=32), others remained assaultive throughout and were categorized as persistently violent (N=27). At the end of 4 weeks, all patients received a psychiatric and neurological assessment. Initially, both the transiently and persistently violent patients presented with more severe positive psychotic symptoms than the nonviolent controls. While the transiently violent patients showed somewhat better resolution of these symptoms, the two groups differed significantly only in frontal lobe function. Frontal impairment was more severe in the persistently violent patients; it was positively related to the positive psychotic symptoms, while no such association was found in the transiently violent group. The positive psychotic symptoms appear to be qualitatively different in the two groups. This finding has important implications for treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Krakowski, M., Czobor, P., Libiger, J., Kunz, M., Papezova, H., Parker, B. B., Schmader, L., & Abad, T. (1997). Violence in schizophrenic patients: The role of positive psychotic symptoms and frontal lobe impairment. American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 18(1), 39-50.