Characteristics of female homicide offenders found not guilty by reason of insanity

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20 Scopus citations


Until recently, there has been little information regarding female offenders who commit homicides that are motivated by psychosis. We investigated gender differences in the characteristics of psychosis and crime variables in psychotically motivated homicide. In the study, conducted at a large U.S. forensic facility, we reviewed the records of women (n = 47) found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) who were hospitalized between January 1991 and August 2005 for a homicide offense. A random sample of 47 men who were committed during the same period for the same offenses was selected for comparison. Religious delusions were found more often in women who killed infants (0-1 year of age) and children between the ages of 2 and 18. Women were more likely to have a diagnosis of an affective problem and borderline personality disorder. The results indicate gender-specific areas to focus on during clinical and forensic assessments of the risk of violence in women with psychosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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