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Criminal victimization and comorbid substance use and psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the NESARC.

Abstract

PURPOSE

Criminal victimization produces enormous personal and societal costs, yet few investigations have systematically examined substance use and psychiatric disorders of crime victims. Our objectives were to (i) examine the prevalence and patterns of criminal victimization in the United States and (ii) their associations with specific substance use disorders, prevalent psychiatric conditions, and violent and nonviolent antisocial behaviors in controlled multivariate analyses.

METHODS

Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of US residents 18 years of age and older (N=43,093). Interviews conducted between 2001 and 2002 included measures of past-year criminal victimization and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, IV mood, anxiety, substance use, and personality disorders.

RESULTS

More than 1-in-25 adults in the United States (4.1%) reported past-year criminal victimization. Respondents who reported lower levels of income, lived in urban areas, and were separated or divorced were at significantly heightened risk for criminal victimization. Persons reporting various forms of violent and nonviolent antisocial behavior also were more likely to be victims of crime. In controlled multivariate analyses, crime victims evidenced significantly increased rates of alcohol, cocaine, and opioid use disorders. Paranoid personality disorder, major depressive disorder, and a family history of antisocial behavior were also significantly associated with past-year criminal victimization.

CONCLUSIONS

Criminal victimization is prevalent in the United States and associated with significant psychiatric comorbidities and behavioral dysfunction. Poor, unmarried persons living in urban areas who have family histories of antisocial conduct and personal histories of specific substance use and psychiatric disorders are at substantially elevated risk for criminal victimization.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    School of Social Work and Department of Community Health, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA. E-mail: mvaughn9@slu.edu

    , , , ,

    Source

    Annals of epidemiology 20:4 2010 Apr pg 281-8

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Antisocial Personality Disorder
    Comorbidity
    Crime Victims
    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    Female
    Health Status
    Health Surveys
    Humans
    Logistic Models
    Male
    Mental Disorders
    Prevalence
    Questionnaires
    Socioeconomic Factors
    Substance-Related Disorders
    United States
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    20097578