Anti-Social Personality Disorder Antisocial Annotated Bibliography

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Anti-Social Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is a chronic mental illness characterized by abnormal and destructive ways of thinking and perceiving situations. People with antisocial personality disorder have difficultly differentiating between right and wrong, which puts them at risk for lies, violent behavior, drug and alcohol problems, and conflict with the law. They may have inconsistent work histories. Antisocial behaviors tend to peak during the patient's 20s, but other characteristics of the disorder will remain throughout the lifetime. The disorder is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors; environmental factors may trigger the development of the disorder. There is no cure for the disorder, though treatments are available to manage the symptoms of the disorder. These treatments include psychotherapy, stress and anger management skills, medications, and even hospitalization. Because the disorder is chronic, people with antisocial personality disorder will require lifelong care, though the nature of the disease dictates that many patients will not seek that care (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010).

Bender, D., & Losel, F. (2011). Bullying at school as a predictor of delinquency, violence, and other anti-social behaviour in adulthood. Crim Behav Ment Health, 21(2), 99

-106. doi 10.1002/cbm.799

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Bender and Losel sought to determine whether there was a connection between anti-social development and Bullying at school. They looked at a non-representative sample of 63 males, intentionally oversampling bullies and victims, and examined whether bullying was linked to anti-social behavior such as delinquency, violence, aggressions, drug use, impulsivity, and psychopathy. They found that bullying was a strong predictor for anti-social outcomes. Physical bullying was more highly correlated with anti-social outcomes than verbal or other forms of indirect bullying. However, they also found that being the victim of a bully in school was not related to anti-social behavior.

Annotated Bibliography on Anti-Social Personality Disorder Antisocial Personality Disorder Is Assignment

The researchers used an existing group that was already being studied for bullying behavior, the Erlangen-Nuremberg Bullying Study, to cull a sample of males between the ages of 15 and 25. Both bullies and victims were over-sampled in that group, so it was not a representative sample. In other words, the ratios of victims to normal males and bullies to normal males were greater than would be found in the general population. The researchers used the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire to investigate bullying behavior. They also had the subjects fill out self-reports about delinquency, violence, aggressiveness, drug use, impulsivity, and psychopathy. Because some of the same external factors are believed to contribute to bullying and anti-social behavior, the researchers used hierarchical regressions to control for family and individual risk factors.

The researchers found a clear correlation between bullying behavior and anti-social outcomes. What they found was that bullying behavior was highly predictive of anti-social behaviors. Moreover, they found that being the victim of a bully, despite that scenario in many ways mirroring some of the childhood traumas believed to help trigger antisocial personality disorder, was not correlated with later anti-social behaviors. The researchers indicated that this affirmed what many experts have long suspected, which is that bullying is a serious problem, not only for the victims of the bullies, but for the bullies themselves. They seemed to believe that the study warranted further investigation of early intervention strategies, and integration between school, family, and criminal justice approaches to the problem of bullying.

In many ways, this study was promising. Bullying has long been considered an early sign of antisocial personality disorder, but little has been done to investigate whether unchecked bullying can actually contribute to the development of anti-social behaviors in the bully. This study suggests that it might. There are limitations to the study. Although it was able to consider risk factors, there could certainly be a third variable causing both the bullying and the other anti-social behaviors. Moreover, the study focused on anti-social behavior more than a diagnosis of a personality disorder. Therefore, while it may help inform future studies, it should be used in a cautionary manner.

Mordre, M., Groholt, B., Kielsberg, E., Sandstad, B., & Myhre, A.M. (2011). The impact of ADHD and conduct disorder in childhood on adult delinquency: A 30 years follow-up study using official crime records. BMC Psychiatry, 1, 57. Retrieved November 22, 2011 from

Mordre et al. sought to determine whether children with a history of ADHD and conduct disorders were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior as adults or whether children would grow out of those disorders. The researchers chose subjects that had been hospitalized as children for psychiatric problems and then looked at their criminal records to determine whether there was a correlation between childhood diagnosis and later anti-social behavior. They found a correlation between conduct disorder and later criminal activity, but no real correlation between childhood ADHD and later anti-social behavior.

The researchers engaged in a longitudinal study, using 541 former Norwegian child psychiatric in-patients. While these patients had been diagnosed at the time of their hospitalization, the researchers did not rely on those diagnoses but used their hospital records to diagnose them for the purposes of the study. They then compared those childhood disorders with the subjects' criminal records, as indicated by the National Register of Criminality, using univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis.

The researchers found a correlation between some of the childhood diagnosis and later criminal behavior, but not between all childhood mental illness and adult anti-social behavior. Conduct disorder and hyperkinetic conduct disorder both increased the risk of future criminal behavior, pervasive developmental disorder and mental retardation both reduced the risk of future criminal behavior, and other mental disorders were not shown to have a significant impact on the risk of future criminal behavior. Being male and having chronic family difficulties were both associated with future criminality.

This study gives some insight into ADHD and anti-social behavior. Many times children who have ADHD are believed to be engaging in anti-social behavior, so that people might predict criminality of an antisocial personality disorder in adulthood. However, this study makes it clear that not all behavior that causes a patient to present with some of the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder is going to trigger a diagnosis of that disorder. Instead of simply examining behavior, the underlying beliefs may be critical in helping predict future behavior. In other words, is a child's rule-breaking behavior due to a disregard for the rules or because the child is unable to comply with the rules? While the immediate outcomes may be the same, the long-term results seem quite different.

The study does suffer from some significant limitations. For example, the fact that the children were hospitalized does not necessarily indicate the severity of their mental illnesses, but may be indicative of a poorly organized family support structure. Other children may have engaged in equally inappropriate childhood behaviors without being hospitalized. Likewise, the percentage of people convicted of crimes is much smaller than the percentage of people who engage in anti-social behaviors; it is possible that study subjects engaged in many anti-social behaviors without being convicted of a crime. Finally, the study examines anti-social behaviors but does not diagnose a disorder; suggesting that future researchers could build upon this same study and attempt to diagnose subjects to see if underlying disorders exist, not only in those convicted of crimes, but also in those not convicted of criminal behavior.

Lee, S.S. (2011). Deviant peer affiliation and antisocial behavior: interaction with Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) genotype. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 39(3), 321-32. doi:10.1007/s10802-010-9474-2

In this study, Lee attempted to investigate the role that genetic and environmental factors play in the development of antisocial behavior. The study specifically examined deviant peer affiliation and the MAOA gene, and found that both were associated with antisocial behaviors. However, the study differentiated between overt and covert deviance, and found that deviant peer affiliation was related to covert antisocial behaviors, but the MAOA gene was not. Furthermore, deviant peer affiliation seemed to have a stronger impact on people with a highly active MAOA genotype than those with a normal MAOA genotype.

Lee used information from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a three-part study on high school students which interviewed students (Wave I), assessed students during in-home interviews (Wave II), and conducted an embedded genetic sample including full siblings and twins (Wave III). The study was limited to Caucasian males. During Wave I, subjects answered questions about peer involvement in antisocial behaviors. During Wave II, subjects reported the frequency of 10 antisocial behaviors, according to frequency as well as answering questions about peer involvement in anti-social behavior. During Wave III, genomic DNA was isolated from buccal cells and the MAOA genotype assayed and coded into low-activity and high-activity groups. The researcher then used weighted descriptive analyses to examine the association of genotype and deviant peer affiliation with overt and covert antisocial behaviors at each wave.

The researchers found that both peer affiliation and MAOA genotype influenced antisocial behavior. Moreover, those people with an at-risk MAOA genotype were more likely to be influenced by their peers' deviant behavior. These findings support the idea… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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