"A terror to their neighbors": beliefs about mental disorder and violence in historical
and cultural perspective.
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
20(2): 191-5, 1992.
This tribute to the enduring legacy of Bernard Diamond explores public perceptions of a link
between mental disorder and violent behavior. Research on contemporary American beliefs is
summarized and compared both to historical accounts of public perceptions in Western cultures and
to anthropological investigations of public perceptions in non-Western cultures. The conclusion of
these reviews is that the belief that mental disorder bears some moderate association with violent
behavior is both historically invariant and culturally universal.