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Antisocial Personality Disorder Research Paper

Antisocial Personality Disorder, in particular, has experienced many changes in diagnostic criteria.  This is an example of the type of information you can write about in an antisocial personality disorder research paper. Paper Masters can help you compose a custom written paper on Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The DSM-III in 1980 reflected the greatest degree of change in criteria. 

Developmental criteria included:

  • Behavioral disturbances in school adjustment
  • Delinquency
  • Indecorous behavior

Adult characteristics included:

  • Lack of responsible behavior
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Risk taking  Antisocial Personality Disorder

In the 1987 edition of the DSM-III-R, the developmental characteristics were revised to reflect an emphasis on violence and other criminal acts.  The adult criteria were left intact for this personality disorder

Rogers, Salekin, and Sewell (2000) note that the preoccupation in the DSM of violence and aggression in adolescence but not adulthood is peculiar and seemingly inconsistent.   Also, the elimination of the two criteria indicating mainstream socialization, including work history and monogamous relationships, seems misguided, as these adult situations are very indicative of a healthy psyche.  The researchers comment, “DSM-IV continues to offer a bewildering array of diagnostic possibilities with 3.2 million variations”.  Clearly, these authors feel that the American Psychiatric Association has conducted a poor job of clarifying the diagnostic criteria for APD.

Antisocial Personality Disorder


In terms of diagnosing antisocial PD, the American Psychiatric Association requires at least three of the following symptoms to accurately diagnose a patient.  The patient must show a failure to conform to social norms, show consistent deceitfulness, impulsiveness, and failure to plan ahead.  They must be irritable and aggressive, and display a consistent disregard for work and family obligations.  They should show indifference toward the safety of themselves and others.  Also, they display no remorse.  A description of an individual with antisocial PD might read, “He is probably male… Although he is neither autistic nor psychotic, he is entirely indifferent to the well-being and interests of others.  He understands intellectually that they have wishes and concerns of their own, but he cares so little that this knowledge rarely affects his behavior.  Believing that he has the right to do what he wants and take what he can, he manipulates others by deception or intimidation or both”.

Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association instructs diagnosticians that only persons diagnosed with conduct disorder before the age of 15 can be diagnosed later as antisocial PD.  Conduct disordered individuals steal, lie, bully, and fight.  They are often truant at school, found to abuse animals, and set fires.  Other symptoms include burglary, vandalism, malicious mischief, consistent precocious aggression, deceit, and impulsiveness.  Conduct disorder is often found with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.

Children and adolescents can develop antisocial behavior when their sense of community is lacking and they have few opportunities for healthy rewards for socially appropriate behavior.  Under these conditions, “many boys do not learn respect for social rules but come to value coolness, toughness, and immediate gratification”. 

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