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date: 25 January 2021

Client Violencelocked

  • Christina E. NewhillChristina E. NewhillChristina E. Newhill, Ph.D., LCSW, is Professor of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh. She formerly chaired the Direct Practice Concentration in the MSW program in the School of Social Work, and currently serves as the School’s Doctoral Program Director. In 2008, she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Pitt’s highest teaching honor. Professor Newhill’s primary research interests are community mental health services, the treatment of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness, and the assessment of violent behavior. She is currently examining the relationship of borderline personality disorder and emotion-regulation problems with the expression of aggression and violence. Newhill has more than 10 years of community mental health practice experience, primarily in psychiatric emergency and inpatient settings. She has conducted training workshops on client violence and social worker safety at the local, state, and national levels for many years and authored Client violence in social work practice: Prevention, intervention and research, published in 2003 by Guilford Press and recently translated into Chinese and Korean. Her new book entitled Interventions for serious mental disorders: Working with individuals and their families is scheduled for release by Pearson in January, 2014. Professor Newhill is a licensed clinical social worker in California and Pennsylvania.


Client violence and workplace safety are relevant issues for all social workers across practice settings. This entry addresses why and how social workers may be targets for a client's violent behavior, and what we know about who is at risk of encountering violence. Understanding violence from a biopsychosocial perspective, identifying risk markers associated with violent behavior, and an introduction to guidelines for conducting a risk assessment will be discussed. The entry concludes by identifying and describing some general strategies for the prevention of client violence.

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