The Correlation between Child Maltreatment and the Development of Antisocial Personality Disorder

The Correlation between Child Maltreatment and the Development of Antisocial Personality Disorder

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As with many influences on human behavior, environmental actions may actually trigger the genetic predispositions toward antisocial behavior. Of these environmental triggers, childhood abuse may be the most important of situational factors. Understanding antisocial personalities in individuals with biological susceptibility to antisocial behaviors and those who experienced maltreatment in a hostile environment would be at a high risk for developing antisocial personality disorder.
Although the diagnosis is limited to those persons over eighteen years of age, it usually involves a history of antisocial behavior before the age of fifteen. The individual often displays a pattern of lying, truancy, delinquency, substance abuse, running away from home and may have difficulty with the law. As an adult, the person often commits acts that are against the law and/or fails to live up to responsibilities. They tend to have difficulty sustaining relationships and frequently are involved in alcohol and drug abuse. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA 85), ASPD is characterized by a pervasive disregard for, and violation of, other people’s rights. The APA further categorizes certain behaviors that work as criteria for the disorder. According to the APA, criterion exhibit pathological personality traits including antagonism, manipulative behavior, deceitfulness, callousness, hostility and disinhibition along with lack of empathy.
Although not all individuals with ASPD are criminals, criminal actions are characteristic of ASPD. Not surprisingly, a large number of people with ASPD, about 75%, end up in prison. When one becomes unable to fun...


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