Attitudes Towards the Concept of Death among Individuals with Mental Disorders Who Have Committed Violent Crimes



The article analyzes structural and dynamic features of the attitude toward death in individuals with borderline mental disorders who have committed aggressive wrongful acts. A total of 45 defendants, who were undergoing stationary psychological and psychiatric examination at the V.P. Serbsky State Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, and 109 law-abiding citizens were examined. The study showed that the emotional-semantic structure of attitude towards the concept of death in people with mental abnormalities differs significantly from the structure of this attitude among mentally healthy subjects. We further hypothesize that the inversion of the emotional-semantic structure of the concept of death with undifferentiated emotional-evaluative characteristics is the result of the weak elaboration of the subject in the minds of the people surveyed.

General Information

Keywords: complex forensic psychological and psychiatric examination, forensic psychological examination, borderline mental disorder, attitude toward death, free associations, semantic space.

Journal rubric: Juridical Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kostyanaya M.I., Safuanov F.S. Attitudes Towards the Concept of Death among Individuals with Mental Disorders Who Have Committed Violent Crimes [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2011. Vol. 3, no. 1 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Mariya I. Kostyanaya, Laboratory Assistant, Laboratory of Forensic Psychology, V.P Serbsky State Research Centre for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, Federal Agency for Health and Social Development, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Farit S. Safuanov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of Chair of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Department of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Head of the Laboratory of Psychology, Federal Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Addiction of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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