An Action Model of Socially Disruptive Behaviors Committed by Persons with Severe Mental Illness

The Role of Self-Reported Childhood Abuse and Suspiciousness-Hostility

Published in: Psychiatry, v. 66, no. 1, Spring 2003, p. 42-52

Posted on on January 01, 2003

by Golan Shahar, Matthew Chinman, David Sells, Larry Davidson

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Espousing an Action Theory approach (Brandstadter, 1998; Lerner, 1982), the authors hypothesized that socially disruptive behaviors committed by people with severe mental illness will be at least partly influenced by incidents of childhood sexual and physical abuse. They further hypothesized that this effect of child abuse on disruptive behaviors in severe mental illness will be mediated by patients' suspiciousness and hostility. Structural equation modeling analyses conducted on data collected from 109 people with severe mental illness provided support for this mediating model. Our results encourage further exploration of the role of childhood maltreatment in the adaptation of people with severe mental illness.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.