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Socially Disruptive Behavior of Ex-Mental Patients

Jeanne M. Giovannoni, PhD; Lee Gurel, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(2):146-153. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730260018003.
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WHILE it has been noted that most psychiatrists do not consider the average mental patient to be dangerous,1,2 it has been demonstrated that laymen3,4 and even patients themselves5 fear the "mental patient" as a dangerous person. Although the extent to which persons previously identified as mentally ill engage in socially hazardous behavior is a question of continuing importance to both mental health professionals and to society in general, it is a question which has been the object of only sporadic and limited systematic investigation. Contemporary stress on brief hospitalization and community-centered treatment serves to further emphasize the need for clarifying the association between socially disruptive behavior and the status of ex-mental patients.

The present study reports the incidence of socially disruptive acts committed by patients in the Veterans Administration (VA) Psychiatric Evaluation Project (PEP) studies relating selected


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