Text Size :
A A A

Course and Prevalence of Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy

Prevalence of Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy

About 3% of individuals in the general population can be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, and this condition tends to be twice as common in men as in women [ref]. About 1-2% of the population may fit the profile of Psychopathy [ref].

Among prison inmates, anywhere from 50-80% meet the diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, while only 15% can be diagnosed with Psychopathy [ref]. These differences seem to relate to the fact that Antisocial Personality Disorder is diagnosed mainly on the basis of socially deviant and criminal acts, whereas Psychopathy takes into account a callous, remorseless and unemotional mind-set that is not necessarily a feature of all convicted criminals [ref].

Course of Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy

Although Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy are diagnosed in adulthood, the traits of these conditions start much earlier in life. By definition, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder have had Conduct Disorder prior to age 15, but antisocial and psychopathic traits can usually be found in children as young as age 7 [ref, ref].

These traits then continue to remain a stable feature of a person's character until the fourth decade of life, when they begin to subside [ref]. This may be due to a normal feature of aging as impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and socially devious behaviors start to ease in middle gae. On the other hand, the manipulative, callous and egocentric attitudes of Psychopathy tend to persist into old age [ref].

Associated Conditions (Comorbidity) of Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy

About 40% of individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy have a Substance Use Disorder, and the rates of Anxiety and Mood Disorders are also quite high, especially in women [ref]. Two thirds of women with Antisocial Personality Disorder will have serious thoughts of suicide, and about a third will attempt suicide, while men with this condition are about 12 times more likely than unaffected men to commit suicide [ref]. Antisocial and psychopathic men under age 40 are at an increased risk of death due to accidents, cancer and diabetes [ref].

 

prev | next

Causes

Treatments