Exploring Characteristics of Homicide Offenders With Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Via Machine Learning

The link between schizophrenia and homicide has long been the subject of research with significant impact on mental health policy, clinical practice, and public perception of people with psychiatric disorders. The present study investigates factors contributing to completed homicides committed by of...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Sonnweber, Martina (Author)
Contributors: Lau, Steffen ; Kirchebner, Johannes
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2024
In: International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Year: 2024, Volume: 68, Issue: 6/7, Pages: 713-732
Online Access: Volltext (kostenfrei)
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Summary:The link between schizophrenia and homicide has long been the subject of research with significant impact on mental health policy, clinical practice, and public perception of people with psychiatric disorders. The present study investigates factors contributing to completed homicides committed by offenders diagnosed with schizophrenia referred to a Swiss forensic institution, using machine learning algorithms. Data were collected from 370 inpatients at the Centre for Inpatient Forensic Therapy at the Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry. A total of 519 variables were explored to differentiate homicidal and other (violent and non-violent) offenders. The dataset was split employing variable filtering, model building, and selection embedded in a nested resampling approach. Ten factors regarding criminal and psychiatric history and clinical factors were identified to be influential in differentiating between homicidal and other offenders. Findings expand the research on influential factors for completed homicide in patients with schizophrenia. Limitations, clinical relevance, and future directions are discussed.
ISSN:1552-6933
DOI:10.1177/0306624X221102799