Title

Sex differences in aggressive incidents towards staff in secure services

Keywords

sex differences, clinical, aggression, staff, sex ratio

Abstract

Limited research is available regarding the impact of staff sex and the staff sex ratio on inpatient aggression. However, some research has suggested that opposite staff sex can help to prevent incidents of aggression by patients towards staff. This suggestion was explored in a medium secure unit in the North-West of England on two female wards and two male wards. This study examined the effects of staff sex and the staff sex mix on the ward on the frequency of aggression, both physical and verbal. It was found that patients were more likely to be aggressive to staff members of the same sex; however, this initially appeared to be a reflection of the sex staff ratio at the time of the attack. After controlling for the sex staff ratio, we found that patient sex still predicted victim sex. This was found for both verbal and physical aggression. These results may have direct implications for the way staffing in secure services is structured.

Original Publication Citation

Knowles, S. F., Coyne, S. M., & Brown, S. L. (2008). Sex differences in aggressive incidents towards staff in secure services. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 19, 620-631.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2007-09-24

Publisher

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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