Differences in Neuropsychological Functioning Between Homicidal and Nonviolent Schizophrenia Samples

John Stratton*, Derin J. Cobia, James Reilly, Michael Brook, Robert E. Hanlon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Few studies have compared performance on neurocognitive measures between violent and nonviolent schizophrenia samples. A better understanding of neurocognitive dysfunction in violent individuals with schizophrenia could increase the efficacy of violence reduction strategies and aid in risk assessment and adjudication processes. This study aimed to compare neuropsychological performance between 25 homicide offenders with schizophrenia and 25 nonviolent schizophrenia controls. The groups were matched for age, race, sex, and handedness. Independent t-tests and Mann–Whitney U-tests were used to compare the schizophrenia groups’ performance on measures of cognition, including composite scores assessing domain level functioning and individual neuropsychological tests. Results indicated the violent schizophrenia group performed worse on measures of memory and executive functioning, and the Intellectual Functioning composite score, when compared to the nonviolent schizophrenia sample. These findings replicate previous research documenting neuropsychological deficits specific to violent individuals with schizophrenia and support research implicating fronto-limbic dysfunction among violent offenders with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1443
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • forensic neuropsychology
  • forensic sciences
  • homicide
  • neurocognition
  • schizophrenia
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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