Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder. It is marked by antisocial (criminal) behavior, anger, boredom, and general discontent. It is defined by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. The DSM-5 is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

They list the following criteria.

  • Impaired self functioning showing at least one of these:
    • Impaired Identity: Ego-centrism; self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure.
    • Impaired Self-direction: Goal-setting based on personal gratification; absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.
  • Impaired interpersonal functioning showing at least one of these:
    • Impaired Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.
    • Impaired Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships, as exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.
  • Pathological personality traits including at least one of these:
    • Antagonism
      • Manipulativeness: Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others; use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one’s ends.
      • Deceitfulness: Dishonesty and fraudulence; misrepresentation of self; embellishment or fabrication when relating events.
      • Callousness: Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others; lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one’s actions on others; aggression; sadism.
      • Hostility: Persistent or frequent angry feelings; anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults; mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior.
    • Disinhibition
      • Irresponsibility: Disregard for – and failure to honor – financial and other obligations or commitments; lack of respect for – and lack of follow through on agreements and promises.
      • Impulsivity: Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli; acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; difficulty establishing and following plans.
      • Risk taking: Engagement in dangerous, risky, and potentially self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard for consequences; boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom; lack of concern for one’s limitations and denial of the reality of personal danger.
  • The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations.
  • The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual’s developmental stage or sociocultural environment.
  • The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., severe head trauma).
  • The individual is at least age 18 years.

DSM-5 indicates that the annual prevalence of Antisocial Personality Disorder is .02% to 3.3.%. However, it may be under-diagnosed. Most people with antisocial personality disorder do not seek treatment on their own.

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