Data gathered from the medical record and in interviews with staff and patients in an inpatient psychiatric setting at a Veterans Affairs medical center were used to examine events preceding 73 episodes in which patients were placed in four-point restraints. The behaviors leading to restraint included physical aggression, verbal threats, and threats with an object as a weapon. These behaviors were more likely to relate to external situations than to the patient's internal psychiatric symptoms. Staff were most frequently the target of patients' aggression, and patients were more likely to view the events leading to restraint as conflict with staff. No differences in the subsequent number of restraint episodes or hours in restraints were found between patients with positive and negative responses to the index restraint episode.