The relation between sleep quality, psychopathology, gender, and severity of aggressive behavior among psychiatric patients

Domingos Alves-Ferreira*, Eleonora Costa, Jorge Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objectives of this study were to ascertaining whether sleeping problems affect aggression levels in adult offenders undergoing inpatient psychiatric treatment and exploring the phenomenon in terms of differences in gender, crime severity, and psychopathology. Methods: We used a sample of 70 adult male and female offenders, inpatients of a forensic psychiatry hospital, to whom we applied the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which evaluates the subjective sleep quality, latency, duration, habitual subjective sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and impairing daytime sleepiness in the preceding 30 days, and the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ), which measures physical and verbal aggressiveness, hostility, and anger. Results: A positive correlation between sleep quality and level of aggression was found (r =.254, p <.05; r2=.065). There were no significant correlation between sleep quality and crime severity (X2 = 1,984, p =.371). When controlled by gender, women showed significantly worse sleep quality than men (Z = 2,243, p =.025) but no significant difference in aggression level (Z = -1,806, p =.071). There were no significant difference in either sleep quality or aggression level among individuals diagnosed with different kinds of psychopathology (X2 = 4,366, p =.359) (X2 = 2,248, p =.690). Conclusion: The results show a relationship between sleep quality and aggression level, but the relationship is correlated to neither crime severity nor psychopathology.
Translated title of the contributionA relação entre a qualidade do sono, a psicopatologia, o gênero e a gravidade do comportamento agressivo entre pacientes psiquiátricos
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalSleep Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Aggression
  • Crime
  • Gender
  • Psychopathology
  • Sleep


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