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Inpatient aggression in forensic psychiatric patients with autism spectrum disorder: the role of risk and protective factors

Rianne Bosch (FPA De Boog, GGNet, Warnsveld, The Netherlands)
Farid Chakhssi (Scelta, GGNet, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands and the Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)
Ko Hummelen (FPA De Boog, GGNet, Warnsveld, The Netherlands)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 5 February 2020

Issue publication date: 30 April 2020

151

Abstract

Purpose

Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are overrepresented in forensic samples. However, research on risk assessment in forensic patients with ASD is scarce. The purpose of this paper was to examine the prevalence of short-term inpatient aggression and explore the risk and protective factors for aggression in forensic psychiatric patients with ASD (N = 32).

Design/methodology/approach

The association between two commonly used violence risk assessment instruments (HKT-R and SAPROF) and physical aggression during ten weeks of inpatient stay was examined in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital.

Findings

Results showed no significant association between HKT-R and SAPROF and incidents of physical aggression. This suggests that the commonly used assessment instruments may be of limited use for assessing the risk of short-term inpatient aggression in patients with ASD.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to the current study include the relatively small sample size and the lack of information on index offenses. Further research with a larger, more homogeneous sample and longer follow-up is indicated to confirm the results of this study. Future research should also include the possible association between aggressive behavior of people with ASD and other factors that might be relevant, such as social cognition deficits, cognitive and sensory impairments, deficient empathy and emotion regulation problems.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to directly examine the prevalence of inpatient aggression of forensic psychiatric patients with ASD and its association with risk and protective factors.

Keywords

Citation

Bosch, R., Chakhssi, F. and Hummelen, K. (2020), "Inpatient aggression in forensic psychiatric patients with autism spectrum disorder: the role of risk and protective factors", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 93-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-05-2019-0008

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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