Sunday, March 20, 2016

Guns, Impulsive Angry Behavior & Mental Disorders: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R)

Analyses from the National Comorbidity Study Replication provide the first nationally representative estimates of the co-occurrence of impulsive angry behavior and possessing or carrying a gun among adults with and without certain mental disorders and demographic characteristics. 

The study found that a large number of individuals in the United States self-report patterns of impulsive angry behavior and also possess firearms at home (8.9%) or carry guns outside the home (1.5%). These data document associations of numerous common mental disorders and combinations of angry behavior with gun access. Because only a small proportion of persons with this risky combination have ever been involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health problem, most will not be subject to existing mental health-related legal restrictions on firearms resulting from a history of involuntary commitment. Excluding a large proportion of the general population from gun possession is also not likely to be feasible. 

Behavioral risk-based approaches to firearms restriction, such as expanding the definition of gun-prohibited persons to include those with violent misdemeanor convictions and multiple DUI convictions, could be a more effective public health policy to prevent gun violence in the population.

Below: Estimated number per 100,000 population with gun violence risk indicator and percent ever hospitalized for a mental health problem

Full article at:

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.
  • 2Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY. 
  •  2015 Jun;33(2-3):199-212. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2172. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

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