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Aggression and attitudes to time and risk in weapon-using violent offenders

Brennan, Iain R.; Brennan, Iain; Moore, Simon C.; Shepherd, Jonathan P.


Iain R. Brennan

Simon C. Moore

Jonathan P. Shepherd


The use of weapons in violence increases both the severity of harm to victims and the severity of legal consequences for offenders, but little is known of the characteristics of violent offenders who choose to use weapons. Levels of anger, attitude to risk, time discounting, and antisocial history among a sample of weapon-using violent offenders (n=15) were compared to violent offenders who had not used a weapon (n=10) and nonviolent offenders (n=15). Results showed that weapon-using violent offenders displayed greater trait aggression and were more risk seeking than other offender types. In addition, weapon-using violent offenders were first convicted at an earlier age and truanted from school more frequently compared to other offender types. The results indicate that weapon users are more aggressive and more risk taking, but no more present focused than other violent and nonviolent offenders. Further research into the cognitive and social factors that influence weapon use is required if this dangerous behavior is to be reduced. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Brennan, I., Moore, S. C., & Shepherd, J. P. (2010). Aggression and attitudes to time and risk in weapon-using violent offenders. Psychiatry research, 178(3), 536-539.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 12, 2009
Online Publication Date May 26, 2010
Publication Date Aug 15, 2010
Print ISSN 0165-1781
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 178
Issue 3
Pages 536-539
Keywords Biological Psychiatry; Psychiatry and Mental health
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