Co-morbidity of personality disorder and clinical syndrome in high-risk incarcerated offenders

Alice Bennett (HMP Frankland, Durham, UK)
Darren Johnson (School of Social Sciences, Business and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Publication date: 14 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

In light of the clinical importance of understanding co-morbidity within offender populations, the purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence and comorbidities of clinical disorder (Axis I) and personality disorder (Axis II) within a sample of high risk, male offenders located in a high secure, prison-based personality disorder treatment service.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised clinical assessment data for both Axis I diagnoses (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV) and Axis II diagnoses (International Personality Disorder Examination) of 115 personality disordered offenders who met the criteria for the treatment service between 2004 and 2015.

Findings

Co-morbidity between Axis I and Axis II diagnoses was high, with 81 per cent of the sample having co-morbid personality disorder and clinical disorder diagnosis. The most prevalent Axis I disorder was substance misuse, and Axis II was antisocial, borderline, and paranoid personality disorder. Following χ2 analysis, Cluster A personality disorder demonstrated co-morbidity with both mood disorder and schizophrenia/other psychotic disorder. Paranoid, schizoid, narcissistic, and avoidant personality disorder demonstrated a level of co-morbidity with Axis I disorders. There was no association found between the clinical disorders of substance use and anxiety with any personality disorder within this sample.

Practical implications

In part these results suggest that certain Axis II disorders may increase the risk of lifetime Axis I disorders.

Originality/value

The findings of no co-morbidity between the clinical disorders of substance use and anxiety with any personality disorder within sample are inconsistent to previous findings.

Keywords

Citation

Bennett, A. and Johnson, D. (2017), "Co-morbidity of personality disorder and clinical syndrome in high-risk incarcerated offenders", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 207-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-05-2016-0026

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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