Although mental illness and violence correlate, it has been speculated that this relationship is mediated by a series of third variables. The current study examined the possibility that the relationship between mental illness and prison violence is mediated by criminal thinking. General criminal thinking, as measured by the General Criminal Thinking (GCT) score of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS; Walters, 1995), was tested as a possible mediator of the mental illness–prison violence relationship. Using a prospective design and path analytic statistical technique, it was determined that general criminal thinking served as a partial mediator of the mental illness-institutional violence nexus in a sample of 2,487 male prison inmates. Causal mediation analysis also documented the presence of a small but statistically significant mediating role for general criminal thinking in this study. The implications of these results for understanding, predicting, and managing violent behavior in severely mentally ill inmates are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)
Walters, Glenn D.
Psychological Services, Vol 8(3), Aug 2011, 189-199. doi:10.1037/a0024684
Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychological Association.
(reproduced with permission)