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Health Sciences; Medical Sciences

Sheilagh Hodgins

Troubles mentaux et facteurs biologiques, psychologiques et sociaux

Professeure associée

Faculté de médecine - Département de psychiatrie et d’addictologie

Professeure honoraire

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département de psychologie

Secondary email: (Travail)


SPECIALE SOPSI 2016: Sheilagh Hodgins, Aggressivity and Psychotic Disorders

Relazione presentata durante i lavori del 20° Congresso Nazionale SOPSI (Milano 23 -26 febbraio 2016) Sheilagh Hodgins insegna psichiatria alla Université de Montréal, Canada


Research expertise

Les interactions des facteurs biologiques, psychologiques et sociaux au cours de la vie qui influencent le développement des troubles mentaux, les comportements antisociaux et criminels.

Présentement, mes études portent sur le développement des comportements antisociaux à travers la vie. Nous tentons de comprendre comment les facteurs génétiques et environnementaux interagissent pour promouvoir ces comportements et aussi pour les prévenir. Pour ce faire j’étudie des cohortes d’individus qui ont été suivi dès leur entrée à l’école jusqu’à 33 ans, des cohortes d’adolescents, des individus qui à l’adolescence ont été traité pour les problèmes de toxicomanie, et les criminels. Nous examinons les facteurs sociaux, les facteurs individuels tel la personnalité, les troubles mentaux, la performance académique, etc., la famille, ainsi que les anomalies cérébrales identifiés par l’imagerie, ainsi que les gènes. Le but est de mettre en évidence les mécanismes qui sous-tendent des patterns de comportements antisociaux et de contribuer au développement de traitements et de programmes de prévention.

De plus, je travaille sur un projet qui suit les enfants de parents ayant le trouble bipolaire.


I completed an MSc and Ph.D. programmme that combined training in both experimental and clinical psychology at McGill University studying with Professor Donald Hebb in my first years. My thesis research focussed on psychopathy. After graduating, I was appointed to the faculty at the Université de Montréal where I remained for almost 25 years. During this period, I established and directed a research centre in the only forensic hospital in Québec and spent time in Sweden working on longitudinal projects.
My early work focused on violence that did not lead to criminal prosecution. I subsequently began investigating violence among persons with mental illness. In the mid-1980s, as the large psychiatric asylums were being closed and community treatment of the mentally ill became policy, the public perception that the mentally ill were dangerous persisted. Yet, there were no empirical data to address the question. I recognized the need for epidemiological investigations comparing the criminality of the mentally ill with that of the general population. I studied a Swedish population cohort and published the first epidemiological investigation to demonstrate an increased risk of criminal violence among the mentally ill. This cohort included 15,000 individuals followed to age 30. Because the results were so startling at the time, I replicated them by establishing another population cohort of 358,000 individuals in Denmark followed to their mid 40’s. Since these investigations have been published, many others have subsequently confirmed the results. To address the hypothesised vulnerability of persons with mental illness to commit homicide, it was necessary to have access to data on complete cohorts of homicide offenders within a defined geographic area for a specified period of time. These requirements were all met in the state of Hessen in Germany, and the increased risk for persons with schizophrenia to kill was demonstrated. The study was designed, however, to also identify factors, such as inadequate mental health care, that contribute to these tragedies. I also undertook epidemiological investigations that demonstrated high rates of mental illness among convicted offenders and high rates of violent criminality among the mentally ill living in the community.

My subsequent research has, I believe, contributed to advancing knowledge about antisocial and violent behaviours by persons with mental illness, the causes and the effective treatments. My success derives from placing research on antisocial and violent behaviour of the mentally ill firmly within two highly productive areas of scientific inquiry, one on mental illness and the other on antisocial and violent behaviours. Using knowledge from these fields on the ways in which biological, psychological and social factors interact to determine behaviours, cognitions, and emotions, I developed novel hypotheses and tested these hypotheses using a diversity of methodologies. I established international collaborations to take advantage of natural experiments and to access to data not available elsewhere.

In the last 15 years I have focused more on the development of psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and antisocial behaviour more generally. I have conducted epidemiological investigations of large cohorts of antisocial adolescents tracked through four decades in order to understand the multiple negative outcomes that they experience in adult life.  I have been conducting brain imaging studies to understand the neural anomalies that characterize children, adolescents, and adults engaging in antisocial behaviour and violent criminality. I have also been conducting studies to understand how specific genetic polymorphisms interact with environmental factors to promote or prevent the development of various types of antisocial behaviour. The results of these studies are used to further understanding of the aetiology of these disorders and as well to inform treatment and prevention programs.

I initiated a prospective longitudinal investigation to compare the development of children of parents with bipolar disorder to that of children of parents with no mental disorder. The development of the children at high risk for bipolar disorder is proving to be very different from that of the children at risk for schizophrenia that we are currently studying. They differ in many ways including conduct problems. These prospective investigations are providing novel findings about the aetiology of these two severe mental illnesses, about the sub-groups of these patients who engage in antisocial behaviours, and about possible avenues of prevention.

Awards and recognitions

  • 2009 : Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, Canada 
  • 2009 : Wolfson Research Merit Award, Royal Society, United Kingdom
  • 1996 : Fellow, Canadian Psychological Association, Canada


  • 1976 — Doctorat, psychologie clinique — PsychologieUniversité McGill
  • 1976 — Maîtrise (équivalent), psychologie clinique — PsychologieUniversité McGill
  • 1971 — Maîtrise, études canadiennes — Histoire, Science politique, SociologieCarleton University
  • 1976 — Ph.D. (Psych clin) — PsychologieUniversité McGill

For more information…

Affiliations and responsabilities

Research affiliations

Research units


  • Centre de recherche Maria-Ungdom, Karolinska Institutet

Affiliated institutions

  • Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal (IPP)

Teaching and supervision

Student supervision

Theses and dissertation supervision (Papyrus Institutional Repository)


Caractéristiques des délinquants atteints du trouble bipolaire

Graduate : Hudon, Julie
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.

Different types of offenders with schizophrenia : the antisocial and the non-antisocial

Graduate : Goldberg, Karen
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.

Effets d'amorçage et attention sélective chez les détenus psychopathes

Graduate : Hallé, Paul
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

Les événements prénataux et périnataux chez les enfants de parents souffrant du trouble bipolaire

Graduate : Tétreault, Isabelle
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

Satisfaction conjugale de personnes présentant un trouble bipolaire et de leurs conjoints

Graduate : Lavoie, François
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.


Research projects

2019 - 2022

Pathways to violence and desistance

Lead researcher : Anne Crocker
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVX99097-Subvention de développement de partenariat
2011 - 2017


Lead researcher : Sheilagh Hodgins
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXX5647-(MOP) Subvention de fonctionnement incluant les subventions de fonctionnement programmatiques (général)
2012 - 2016


Lead researcher : Sheilagh Hodgins
Co-researchers : Éric Latimer
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention Savoir
2013 - 2015

Une infrastructure de recherche au Centre de recherche de l'IUSMM pour soutenir le Projet Sichature: Programme de soutien à la recherche, volet 2: appui au financement d'infrastructures de recherche (PSRv2)

Lead researcher : Sonia Lupien
Funding sources: MESRST/Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Prog. soutien rech (PSR v2): Soutien au financement d'infrastructures de recherche
2011 - 2015

Antecedents of persistent antisocial behaviour and psychopathy: A developmental follow-back study of Canadian men using prospectively collected data from age 6 to 30

Lead researcher : Sheilagh Hodgins
2011 - 2015

The Lifetime Costs of Criminal Offending: A Canadian Study of a Sample of Males followed from age 6 to 30

Lead researcher : Sheilagh Hodgins
2013 - 2014


Lead researcher : Alexandre Dumais
Co-researchers : Sheilagh Hodgins , Adrianna Mendrek , Stéphane Potvin , David Luck
Funding sources: FRQS/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Réseaux thématiques de recherche


Lead researcher : David Luck
Co-researchers : Sheilagh Hodgins , Adrianna Mendrek , Lan Xiong , Christian Joyal
Funding sources: FRQS/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Réseaux thématiques de recherche
2012 - 2013


Lead researcher : Sheilagh Hodgins
Co-researchers : Richard Ernest Tremblay
Funding sources: Sécurité publique et protection civile Canada
Grant programs:


Publications and presentations


LINDNER, P., SAVIC, I., SITNIKOV, R., BUDHIRAJA, M. LIU, Y., JOKINEN, J., TIIHONEN, J., & HODGINS, S. (2016). Conduct disorder in females is associated with reduced corpus callosum structural integrity independent of comorbid disorders and exposure to maltreatment. Translational Psychiatry, 6 e714.

NIJJAR, RAMI, ELLENBOGEN, MARK, & HODGINS, SHEILAGH. (2016). Sexual Risk Behaviors in the Adolescent Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder: Prospective Associations with Parents’ Personality and Externalizing Behavior in Childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44, 1347-1359.

HODGINS, S., LARM, P. & WESTERMAN, J. (2016). Individuals developing schizophrenia are hidden among adolescent substance misusers. Psychological Medicine, 46, 3041-3050.

LINDNER, P., BUDHIRAJA, M., WESTERMAN, J., SAVIC, I., JOKINEN, J., TIIHONEN, J., & HODGINS, S. (2017). White matter correlates of psychopathic traits in a female community sample. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2017, 1500–1510

TIKÀSZ, T., POTVIN, S., LUNGU, O., JOYAL, C., HODGINS, S., MENDREK, A., & DUMAIS, A. (2016). Anterior cingulate hyper-activations during negative emotion processing among men with schizophrenia and a history of violent behaviour. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12, 1397-1410.

TIKÁSZ, A., POTVIN, S., RICHARD-DEVANTOY, S., HODGINS, S., LALONDE, P., LUNGO, O., DUMAIS, A. (2017). Reduced dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation during affective Go/NoGo in violent schizophrenia patients: An fMRI study. Schizophrenia Research, online November 9.

HODGINS, S. & KLEIN, S. (2017). New clinically relevant findings about violence by people with schizophrenia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 62(2), 86-93.

SCHIFFER, B., PAWLICZEK, C., MÜLLER, B.W., WILTFANG, J., BRÜNES, M., FORSTING, M., GIZEWSKI, E.R., LEYGRAF, N., & HODGINS, S. (2017). Neural Mechanisms Underlying Affective Theory of Mind in Violent Antisocial Personality Disorder and/or Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43(6),1229 - 1239. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbx012

HODGINS, S. (2017). Aggressive Behavior Among Persons With Schizophrenia and Those Who Are Developing Schizophrenia: Attempting to Understand the Limited Evidence on Causality. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43(5), 1021–1026.

BAMVITA, J.M., LARM P., CHECKNITA D., VITARO, F., TREMBLAY, R.E., CÔTÉ, G., & HODGINS, S. (2017). Childhood predictors of adult psychopathy scores among males followed from age 6 to 33. Journal of Criminal Justice 53: 55–65.

ROBITAILLE, M.P., CHECKNITA, D., VITARO, F., TREMBLAY, R.E., PARIS, J., & HODGINS, S. (2017). A prospective, longitudinal, study of men with borderline personality disorder with and without comorbid antisocial personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Regulation, 4:25,

DOI 10.1186/s40479-017-0076-2.

HODGINS, S., CHECKNITA, D., LINDNER, P., SCHIFFER, B., & DE BRITO, S. (2018). Antisocial Personality Disorder. In A. Beech, A.J. Carter, R. Mann, & P. Rotshtein (Eds), Handbook of Forensic Neuroscience, (pp 229 - 272). Oxford, United Kingdom: Wiley.

LINDNER, PHILIP, FLODIN, PER, LARM, PETER, BUDJURAJA, MEENAL, SAVIC-BERGLUND, IVANKA, JOKINEN, JUSSI, TIIHONEN, JARI, & HODGINS, SHEILAGH. (2018). Amygdala-orbitofrontal structural and functional connectivity in females with anxiety disorders, with and without a history of conduct disorder. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1101. DOI.1038/s41598-018-19569-7

BENDRE, M., COMASCO, E., CHECKNITA, D., TIIHONEN, J., HODGINS, S., & NILSSON, K.W. (2018). Associations between MAOA-uVNTR genotype, maltreatment, MAOA methylation and alcohol consumption in young adult males. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,42(3), 508-519.

ANDREOU, D., COMASCO, E., ÅSLUND, C., NILSSON, K., & HODGINS, S. (2018). Maltreatment, the oxytocin receptor gene, and conduct problems among male and female teenagers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12:112, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00112.

BUDHIRAJA, M., SAVIC, I., LINDNER, P., JOKINEN, J., TIIHONEN, J., & HODGINS, S. (2017). Brain structure abnormalities in young women who presented conduct disorder in childhood/adolescence. Cognitive Affective Behavioral Neuroscience, 17:869–885.

IACONO,V., BEAULIEU, L., HODGINS, S., & ELLENBOGEN, M. (2018). Parenting practices in middle childhood mediate the relation between growing up with a parent having bipolar disorder and offspring psychopathology from childhood into early adulthood. Development and Psychopathology, 30, 635–649.

DICKSON, H., CULLEN, A.E., JONES, R., REICHENBERG, A., ROBERTS, R.E., HODGINS, S., MORRIS, R.G., & LAURENS, K.R. (2018). Cognitive trajectories in youth at-risk of schizophrenia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59:11, 1215–1224.

CHECKNITA, D., EKSTRÖM, T.J., COMASCO, E., NILSSON, K.W., HODGINS, S. (2018). Associations of monoamine oxidase A gene first exon methylation with sexual abuse and current depression in women. Journal of Neural Transmission, 125:1053–1064.

LINDNER, P., FLODIN, P., BUDHIRAJA, M., SAVIC, I., JOKINEN,J., TIIHONEN, J., & HODGINS, S. (2018). Associations of psychopathic traits with local and global brain network topology in young adult women. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging,3(12), 1003-1012. DOI:

Martin Černý, Sheilagh Hodgins,Radmila Kučíková,Ladislav Kážmér, Alena Lambertová, Alexander Nawka, Lucie Nawková, Anna Parzelka, Jiří Raboch, Petr Bob, & Jan Vevera (2018). Risk factors for violence in persons with and without psychosis in the Czech Republic. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 14, 2793-2805.

BUDHIRAJA, M., PEREIRA, J., LINDNER, P., WESTMAN, E., JOKINEN, J., SAVIC, I., TIIHONEN, J., HODGINS, S. (2019). Cortical Structure Abnormalities in Females Who Presented Conduct Disorder Prior to Age 15. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 289, 37-44.

GUBERMAN, G.I., ROBITAILLE, M.P., LARM, P., PTITO, A., VITARO, F. TREMBLAY, R.E., HODGINS, S. (2019). Are traumatic brain injuries associated with criminality after taking account of childhood family social status and disruptive behaviors? The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 31(2), 123-131.

VRETTOU, M., NILSSON, K., TUVBLAD, C., ÅSLUND, C., ANDERSHED, A-K., WALLÉN-MACKENZIE, ANDERSHED, H., HODGINS, S., NYLANDER, I., COMASCO, E. (2019). VGLUT2 rs2290045 genotype moderates environmental sensitivity to alcohol-related problems in three samples of youths. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28, 1329-1340.

NING, Y., TAN, C.S., MARAKI, A., HO, P.J., HODGINS, S., COMASCO, E., NILSSON, K., WAGNER, P., KHOO, E.Y.H., TAI, E-S., KAO, S.L., HARTMAN, M., REILLY, M., STØER, N.C. (2019). Handling ties in continuous outcomes for confounder adjustment with rank-ordered logit and its application to ordinal outcomes. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, DOI: 10.1177/0962280219837656

HODGINS, S. & KLEIN, S. (2019). Severe mental illness and crime, antisocial and aggressive behavior. In D. Polaschek, A. Day, & C. Hollin (Eds), pp. 251-264. The Wiley International Handbook of Correctional Psychology, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

GUBERMAN, G.I., ROBITAILLE, M.P., LARM, P., PTITO, A., VITARO, F. TREMBLAY, R.E., HODGINS, S. (2019). A Prospective Study of Childhood Predictors of Traumatic Brain Injuries Sustained in Adolescence and Adulthood. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 65(1), 36-45.

HODGINS, S. (2020). Antisocial and aggressive behaviour among persons with schizophrenia: Evidence and propositions for prevention. In Stephen Wormith, Leam A. Craig and Todd Hogue (Eds.), pp. 419-436. What Works in Violence Risk Management: Theory, Research and Practice, London: Wiley-Blackwell.

SERRAVALLE, L., IACONOA, V., HODGINS, S., & ELLENBOGEN, M. (2020). A comprehensive assessment of personality traits and psychosocial functioning in parents with bipolar disorder and their intimate partners. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, 8:8, 1-13.

CHECKNITA, D., BENDRE, M.,EKSTRÖM, T.J., Comasco, E., Tiihonen, J., HODGINS, S., NILSSON, K.W. (2020).  Monoamine Oxidase A Genotype and Methylation Moderate the Association of Maltreatment and Aggressive Behaviour. Behavioural Brain Research, 382, 16 March 2020,1 12476.

HODGINS, S. (2020) Sex differences in antisocial and aggressive disorders that onset in childhood and persist into adulthood: Prevalence not presentation or aetiology. Ipp. 405-422) In Rupert Lanzenberger, Georg S. Kranz and Ivanka Savic (Eds.) (pp. 405-422) Sex Differences in Neurology and Psychiatry. Elsevier.

HODGINS, S. (in press). Psychopathy: New insights into the causes and potential for prevention. In Donald W. Black, & Nathan J. Kolla (Eds.). Textbook of Antisocial Personality. American Psychiatric Association Press.

HODGINS, S. & GUBERMAN, G. (in press). Disentangling antecedents from consequences of traumatic brain injury: The need for prospective longitudinal studies. In Rajkumar Rajendram, Victor Preedy & Colin Martin (Eds.)

Traumatic Brain Injury: Cellular Mechanisms to Medical Management. Elsevier.

BAMVITA, J. M., LARM, P., VITARO, F., TREMBALY, R. E., CÔTÉ, G., HODGINS, S. (in press). How do childhood conduct problems, callousness and anxiety relate to later offending and adult mental disorder? Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health.on-line November 2020.


  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Neurosciences

Areas of expertise

  • Delinquency
  • Genes
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Mental Health and Psychopathology in Children and Youth
  • Mental Health and Society
  • Schizophrenia
  • Behavioral Disorders in Children and Adolescents
  • Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms
  • Severe mental illness
  • Social and Cultural Psychiatry
  • Socio-emotional development
  • Social neuroscience
  • Psychopathology
  • Emotions
  • Affect regulation
  • Life Cycles ( Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, etc.)
  • Cognitive Development in Children
  • Crime
  • Preventing psychosocial problems