The impact of interpersonal style and perceived coercion on aggression and self-harm in personality-disordered patients admitted to a secure psychiatric hospital
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Recent research on aggressive behaviour in psychiatric hospitals has emphasised the importance of the interaction between characteristics of patients and the hospital environment. Interpersonal style, a key component of personality and personality disorder, has emerged as a potentially important characteristic that may be relevant to a patient's interactions with the hospital environment. Interpersonal style affects how patients relate to others and how they respond to the demands of treatment. This study explored the impact of interpersonal style and perceptions of staff coercion on aggression and self-harm. Participants were 39 patients with personality disorder admitted involuntarily to a secure psychiatric hospital. Results showed that perceptions of coercion were high but unrelated to aggression and self-harm. Interpersonal style did not relate to perceived coercion. However, patients with a more coercive interpersonal style, as measured by the Chart of Interpersonal Reactions in Closed Living Environments, were more likely to self-harm and/or act aggressively. Possible implications for the treatment of aggressive individuals and the prevention of aggressive behaviour are made.