DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria For Antisocial Personality Disorder


A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.

2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.

4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.

6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

B. The individual is at least age 18 years of age.

C. There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before age 15.

D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a manic episode.


By definition, all individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder had preceding Conduct Disorder as a child. Among those with Childhood Conduct Disorder, however, only about 40 percent of males and 24 percent of females are diagnosed with Adult Antisocial Personality Disorder. The highest reported rate of diagnosis is among the male adult population, averaging between ages 25 and 44. These are also the ages of most convicted serial killers with Antisocial Personality Disorder, for example Ted Bundy who was a classic psychopath-cunning, charming, callous-and of course, deadly. For more information on Ted Bundy


Among those criminals with Antisocial Personality Disorder few ever make it into old age, because of a abnormally high rate of early death from suicide, homicide, accidents, and complications of drug and alcohol abuse.


Because the criteria for diagnosing Antisocial Personality Disorder emphasize overt violations of social rules, it is not surprising that it correlates so well with criminality. Research on American criminals showed that 25 to 30 percent of the imprisoned inmates meet the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder. Canadian researcher Robert Hare (1983) reported that 40 to 50 percent of the convicted prisoners in Canada met the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder and that in some Canadian prison populations the rate was as high as 75 percent. Psychopathic prisoners on average, have longer sentences and are less successful in staying out of prison than nonpsychopathic prisoners.


Patterns emerge in the evaluation of the histories and backgrounds of individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder. There is a reoccurring course of childhood deviance in which their problems start at a young age and tend to continue into adulthood.


A DSM-IV field trial was done that aimed at improving criteria for antisocial personality disorder. The criteria are based on the revised Psychopathy Checklist, an interview procedure that also draws on information from any other available source, such as criminal or case records. The proposed disorder was named Psychopathy Personality Disorder. The first five characteristics pertain to a subscale consisting of selfish, callous, and remorseless unstable and antisocial lifestyle, and the other five pertain to chronically unstable and antisocial lifestyle.


Proposed Criteria for Psychopathic Personality Disorder


2. Inflated and arrogant self-appraisal

3. Lacks remorse

4. Lacks empathy

5. Deceitful and manipulative

6. Early behavior problems

7. Adult antisocial behavior

8. Impulsive

9. Poor behavioral controls

10. Irresponsible

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