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Name change among offender patients: an English high security hospital sample

Völlm, Birgit, Jamieson, Liz, Gordon, Harvey and Taylor, Pamela Jane ORCID: 2002. Name change among offender patients: an English high security hospital sample. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 12 (4) , pp. 269-281. 10.1002/cbm.505

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Background There is scant literature on change of name among psychiatric patients but a more substantial amount on the use of aliases among offenders. No one to our knowledge has explored name changes among offender patients. Aim This study was undertaken to establish the prevalence of name change among high security hospital patients and to compare those who changed name with those who did not. Hypothesis It was hypothesized that name change would be associated with male gender, repeated offending and a diagnosis of personality disorder. Method The clinical records of all patients resident in one high security hospital on 31 January 2000 were searched. As all such patients are compulsorily detained, all name changes must be recorded. Any change prior to that date was also noted, together with basic demographic and diagnostic information; supplementary data were obtained from the special hospitals' case register. Results Seventy-one patients (17%) of the resident population changed names (exclusive of a woman changing her surname on marriage). Name changing was associated with disrupted upbringing. Patients with personality disorder were more likely to change names than those with psychosis, regardless of sex, age or ethnic group. Those with psychosis were more likely to select unusual or symbolic names. Conclusions On the evidence of previous literature, people from this serious offender patient population were more likely to change names than other psychiatric patients but less likely than non-mentally-disordered offenders. Changes by people with psychosis seemed related to their illness, whereas changes by those with personality disorder might reflect childhood disruptions in rearing patterns.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0957-9664
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:35

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