Gender and perceptions of dangerousness in civil psychiatric patients

E. B. Elbogen, A. L. Williams, D. Kim, A. J. Tomkins, M. J. Scalora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between gender and clinicians' judgments of dangerousness in civil psychiatric facilities. Methods. Eighty-one clinicians working in acute, chronic or crisis settings rated violence risk of actual patients, rendering a total of 648 judgments of dangerousness. Results. Statistical analyses revealed the expected higher ratings of dangerousness for male compared to female patients, but also showed a significant interaction between clinician's gender and patient's gender on judgments of dangerousness. Conclusions. One of the most interesting findings in this study was that female clinicians perceived a greater gender gap in violence potential among psychiatric patients than did male clinicians. In fact, male clinicians perceived male and female patients to show approximately the same risk of violent behaviour. The results raise important questions for future risk assessment research and for clinical decision-making in the context of civil commitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Applied Psychology

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