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Personality Disorder in Convicted Jamaican Murderers

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Objective: To establish the aetiology and historical prevalance of personality disorder in violent homicidal men in Jamaica.

Methods: Examination and analysis of primary data from the psychosocial case study interviews of 36 convicted murderers from the Jamaican Government Barnett Commission of Enquiry in 1976. The disaggregated social and clinical data were analysed using a Chi-square statistical analysis.

Results: The mean age at time of arrest for the male convicted murderers was 24.26 ± 8.48 years. Twenty-three (66%) of the subjects had loving relationships with mothers, particularly in those men reared in the rural areas. Twenty-one (59%) cases showed marked paternal rejection and absence of integrated family life. Twenty-four (69%) of the cases experienced severe parental disciplinary methods, and two-thirds were illiterate or barely literate. Twenty-nine (83%) were from very poor socio-economic conditions. Thirty (86%) of all the murder victims were adult males. There were significant differences between the urban reared murderers (URM) and rural reared murderers (RRM). Sixteen (94%) of the victims of the URM ensued from robbery and police confrontation, while 13 (72%) of the victims of the RRM resulted from domestic disputes (p < 0.00). Seventeen (49%) of the men had normal personalities; 18 (51%) were diagnosed as having antisocial and inadequate personalities. Diagnosis of primary data using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria revealed 23 (66%) men with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). There were significantly more APD in the URM than the RRM (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Antisocial personality disorder as an aetiological precursor of homicidal violence
represents a major public health problem in contemporary Jamaica.

02 Apr, 2013
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e-Published: 26 Aug, 2013
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