Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR), as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.”
The World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems’, tenth edition (ICD-10), defines a conceptually similar disorder to antisocial personality disorder called (F60.2) Dissocial personality disorder.
Psychopathy and sociopathy are terms related to ASPD. ASPD replaced sociopathy as a diagnosis in the DSM but the terms are not identical. Currently, neither psychopathy nor sociopathy are valid diagnoses described in the DSM-IV-TR or the ICD-10. Many people with this disorder are not violent.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:
- A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
- deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
- impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
- irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
- B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
- C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
- D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.
New evidence points to the possibility that children often develop antisocial personality disorder as a result of environmental as well as genetic influence. The individual must be at least 18 years of age to be diagnosed with this disorder (Criterion B), but those commonly diagnosed with ASPD as adults were diagnosed with conduct disorder as children. The prevalence of this disorder is 3% in males and 1% from females, as stated in the DSM IV-TR.