A Typology of Community Violence Perpetration and Victimization Among Adults With Mental Illnesses

Kiersten L. Johnson, Sarah L. Desmarais, Richard A. Van Dorn, Kevin J. Grimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this article was to evaluate the overlap between community violence perpetration and victimization in a large, heterogeneous sample of adults with mental illnesses (N = 4,474). We also explored participant characteristics differentiating four categories of perpetration and victimization: non-victim/non-perpetrators, victims only, perpetrators only, and victim–perpetrators. Results indicated that adults with mental illnesses were unlikely to report violent outcomes but, when they did, were more likely to report perpetration and victimization, rather than perpetration alone. In addition, bivariate and multivariable analyses showed that sex, age, race/ethnicity, and primary diagnosis differed across categories. Victim–perpetrators, for example, were more likely to be young, Black, and have a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, substance use disorder, or “other.” Altogether, our findings provide evidence for a victim–perpetrator overlap in this population and suggest that preventive measures targeting violence and victimization may be more effective than those with separate strategies for each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-540
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 8 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • community violence
  • mental health and violence
  • violence exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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