Antisocial Personality Disorder

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Every person has a personality that is a way of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating to others. Most people experience at least some difficulties and problems that result from their personality. The specific point at which those problems justify the diagnosis of a personality disorder is controversial. The definition of Personality Disorders is disorders in which one's personality results in personal distress or significantly impairs social or work functioning Personality disorders involve behavior that deviate from the norms or expectations of one's culture. This paper will explore what is meant by antisocial behavior and look at the different disorders that involve the expression of antisocial behaviors’. This will be followed by a look at the research that has been carried out in the area of the genetic determinants of antisocial behavior, namely twin studies and adoption studies. It will then look at the limitations of the research that has been carried out in regards to the participants of the studies. Finally, the paper will look at other possible causes of the development of antisocial behavior. These are various environmental factors like parental values in upbringing, stability of home-life, the type of role models available and many more. Many personality disorders represent extreme irregular behavior patterns that people usually value and encourage. Violent behavior is associated with antisocial personality disorder; neuroimaging studies have suggested that several biological systems are disturbed in schizophrenia, and structural changes in frontal and temporal lobe regions are reported in antisocial personality disorder. (Veena, et al. pg.1) All subjects are screened for Axis I pathology, substance misuse and prescribed medication. The performance of 29 subjects with antisocial personality disorder DSM-IV and 20 male right-handed controls (matched for age and IQ) on the neuropsychological test battery was compared. The results are the Subjects with antisocial personality disorder displayed impairments on DLPFC executive function tasks of planning ability and set shifting. Impairments were also seen in VMPFC Go} No-go tasks and in visual memory tasks. The conclusions antisocial personality disorder is associated with a broad range of defects in DLPFC and VMPFC function. (Dolan, Parks) Future studies need to examine relationships between the interpersonal and behavioral components of antisocial personality disorder and neuropsychological function. Elaborating on the causes of criminal behavior can be complex, especially when trying to wrestle with the obvious subjective nature of “criminality” and trying to define the causes of an individual’s intent to commit a crime or pursue a criminal lifestyle. In studying criminal behavior, there are various factors that can account for the reasons why criminals behave in ways that are contrary to the way that the majority of people behave, at least, those who are law abiding citizens. Looking at all the factors, it is difficult to hold one factor primarily responsible when attempting to explain why crime occurs. However, when ranked in terms of importance, Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is the single most prevalent factor in understanding the root causes of criminal behavior. Several prominent studies show that APD is a strong predictor of criminal activity and is exhibited frequently among the prison population (up to 50%), according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (2002). It follows that these studies show a strong connection between the condition and criminality. For a better understanding of how APD is an indicator for the likelihood of offending, it must be defined. “Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is characterized by a failure to conform to standards of decency; repeated lying and stealing; a failure to sustain lasting, loving relationships; low tolerance of boredom; and a complete lack of guilt” (Carlson N.R., Buskist W., Enzle M.E., &...
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