Introduction: An increased proclivity towards violence is often associated with those diagnosed with schizophrenia (SCZ), despite contradictory findings from prior studies exploring the association between violence and SCZ. Evidence has shown that certain comorbidities, specifically the presence of a substance use disorders, can result in increased aggression in those with SCZ. Copy number variation (CNV) load has also previously been implicated in the genetic vulnerability of individuals with SCZ. For this study, we aimed to determine whether CNV load correlates with increased violence in SCZ. Methods: Community-dwelling patients diagnosed with SCZ spectrum disorders (n = 203) were recruited from a non-forensic population. The assessment for aggression was completed using a cross-sectional and retrospective design, and CNV analysis was conducted analysing genomic DNA using the Illumina Omni 2.5 array. Results: No correlation between the number of CNV events (either deletion or duplication) and the severity of the physical violence episode index was found. However, there was a significant association between larger deletion events across the violent behaviours under investigation. Discussion: These results need to be confirmed in more extensive studies using standardized tools developed for non-forensic populations, such as the Brown-Goodwin Scale of Aggression.

Tandon R, Keshavan MS, Nasrallah HA. Schizophrenia, “just the facts” what we know in 2008. 2. Epidemiology and etiology. Schizophr Res. 2008;102(1–3):1–18.
van Os J, Kapur S. Schizophrenia. Lancet. 2009;374(9690):635–45.
Schultz SH, North SW, Shields CG. Schizophrenia: a review. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(12):1821–9.
van Os J, Kenis G, Rutten BPF. The environment and schizophrenia. Nature. 2010 Nov 11;468(7321):203–12.
Valle R. Schizophrenia in ICD-11: comparison of ICD-10 and DSM-5. Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment. 2020;13(2):95–104.
Conrad DF, Pinto D, Redon R, Feuk L, Gokcumen O, Zhang Y, et al. Origins and functional impact of copy number variation in the human genome. Nature. 2010;464(7289):704–12.
Girirajan S, Campbell CD, Eichler EE. Human copy number variation and complex genetic disease. Annu Rev Genet. 2011;45:203–26.
Marshall CR, Howrigan DP, Merico D, Thiruvahindrapuram B, Wu W, Greer DS, et al. Contribution of copy number variants to schizophrenia from a genome-wide study of 41,321 subjects. Nat Genet. 2017;49(1):27–35.
Levinson DF, Duan J, Oh S, Wang K, Sanders AR, Shi J, et al. Copy number variants in schizophrenia: confirmation of five previous findings and new evidence for 3q29 microdeletions and VIPR2 duplications. Am J Psychiatry. 2011;168(3):302–16.
Moreno-De-Luca D; SGENE ConsortiumMulle JG; Simons Simplex Collection Genetics Consortium, Kaminsky EB, Sanders SJ, et al. Deletion 17q12 is a recurrent copy number variant that confers high risk of autism and schizophrenia. Am J Hum Genet. 2010;87(5):618–30.
Steadman HJ, Mulvey EP, Monahan J, Robbins PC, Appelbaum PS, Grisso T, et al. Violence by people discharged from acute psychiatric inpatient facilities and by others in the same neighborhoods. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(5):393–401.
Elbogen EB, Johnson SC. The intricate link between violence and mental disorder: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66(2):152–61.
Bani-Fatemi A, Roy A, Dai N, Dada O, Adanty C, Kiruparajah L, et al. Genome-wide association study of aggression and violence in schizophrenia. Neurosci Lett. 2020;732:135061.
Wallace C, Mullen PE, Burgess P. Criminal offending in schizophrenia over a 25-year period marked by deinstitutionalization and increasing prevalence of comorbid substance use disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2004;161(4):716–27.
Fazel S, Buxrud P, Ruchkin V, Grann M. Homicide in discharged patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses: a national case-control study. Schizophr Res. 2010;123(2–3):263–9.
You do not currently have access to this content.