Axis I and Axis II diagnostic parameters of homicide.
R. M. Yarvis,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
18(3): 249-69, 1990.
A series of 100 murderers was examined to discern overall patterns of psychopathology. In addition,
demographic and other discriminating factors were used to test the hypothesis that murderers do not
constitute a homogenous population and that subgroups will differ diagnostically. DSM-III
diagnostic criteria were used to make each diagnosis. The sample was found to be representative of
the universe from which it was drawn at least as could be determined by available comparative
criteria. Four Axis I (psychoses, substance abuse, dysthymia, no Axis I) and three Axis II (antisocial,
borderline, no Axis II) diagnostic categories accounted for more than 80 percent of the study
population. The murderers were found to be a heterogenous population, and subgroups based on a
combination of assailant's crime pattern, sex, prior criminal history, and relationship to victim
manifested different prevailing diagnostic patterns.