Trauma, dissociation and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in violent offenders: The cycle of violence revisited

Research indicates that many violent crime offenders have been victims of violent crime. Many develop stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as a response to perpetrating or being victimized by violent crime. Barry Cooper’s earlier research focused on the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and their effect on memory in victims of violent crimes. Now he is examining the complex factors that contribute to the development, severity, and maintenance of the condition in violent crime offenders. His research involves interviewing violent crime offenders incarcerated in BC and developing an extensive database detailing factors such as their personality characteristics, history of trauma, severity and type of violence, use of alcohol or other substances, and memories of their crimes and traumatic experiences. The results will help refine assessment techniques and treatment programs for violent offenders, leading to improved rehabilitation and a lower rate of violent offences.