Grenade-Amok in Laos: A psychosocial perspective

Joseph J Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Most studies of amok have concentrated on surviving individuals brought to court or hospital. Thus, a biased sampling of such individuals has resulted. In this study anthropologic field techniques were employed to obtain extensive data on grenade-amok in Laos, including cases in which the individual died as a result of his violent behaviour. Data on premorbid state, precipitating events, and postmorbid psychopathology were collected for eighteen cases. In addition, demographic variables of the amok persons were obtained, and the social context of the amok behaviour was investigated. Hypotheses presented in the paper take into account both the psychological and the sociologic dimensions of this problematic behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1973


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