Violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia : the experiences of male residents of psychiatric halfway houses in Hong Kong

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Violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia : the experiences of male residents of psychiatric halfway houses in Hong Kong

 

Author: Fong, Fu-fai
Title: Violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia : the experiences of male residents of psychiatric halfway houses in Hong Kong
Degree: DSW
Year: 2014
Subject: Schizophrenia.
Violence.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xv, 567 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2779990
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7839
Abstract: This research studies the personal experience of persons with schizophrenia who committed violent offenses. The findings of this qualitative research show that only some of the violent behaviors of the informants were directly related to their psychotic symptoms. Instead, some of the violent behaviors of the informants were related to their previous adverse life experiences. Generally, all the informants were facing various kinds of life difficulties which led to the episodes of violence. Although the informants were trying to adopt various strategies to cope with those life difficulties, however, some of their coping strategies were not effective or were even pathological. At the same time, the social support networks of the informants were poor, too. It was when they lost their ability to cope with, or when they were overwhelmed by, their life difficulties that they manifested their frustrations in violent behaviors. As a whole, the violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia can be viewed as their responses to life stresses and difficulties. The results of this research also show that most of the informants experienced some forms of life adversities in the different stages of their life development. Because of the repressed environments that they were brought up, they could not well express their unfulfilled needs and unexpressed emotions. Some of them concealed these unfulfilled needs and unexpressed emotions through the manifestation of psychotic symptoms. Through understanding the informants' life experiences and their interpretation of their own psychosis in this research, their feelings of inferiority, loneliness, fear, anger, shame and guilt were identified. It was also found that their previous adverse experiences and suppressed emotion would in turn, negatively affect their emotional responses to life stresses and situational triggers, as well as their choices of coping strategies.
As a whole, it was found that the mere presence of psychotic symptoms were not the sufficient reason for the violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia. It is proposed that the violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia are determined by seven personal factors: (1) their previous life adversities, (2) the social support, (3) their emotion and emotional sensitivity, (4) their recent life difficulties, (5) triggering events, (6) their psychotic symptoms, and (7) their coping strategies. These determining factors are inter-related, they constitute a complex framework which determine the violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia. This thesis concludes that both medication and the psychiatric halfway house can contribute to the prevention of the violent behaviors of persons with schizophrenia. Nevertheless, medication should be considered as just one of the many available intervention strategies in dealing with schizophrenia. In fact, the role of psychosocial interventions is more significant in reducing the risk of violence or promoting the recovery of persons with schizophrenia. Social work should not be considered as an intervention supplementary to the medical treatment. On the contrary, it should play an essential role in the mental health services. Finally, a strategy with multiple levels of intervention for reducing the risks of violence is proposed for social workers working with persons with schizophrenia.

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