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Antisocial personality disorder

  • Definition

    Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behavior is often criminal.


    Alternative Names

    Sociopathic personality; Sociopathy; Personality disorder - antisocial


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The causes of antisocial personality disorder are unknown. Genetic factors and child abuse are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk. Far more men than women are affected. The condition is common in people who are in prison.

    Fire-setting and cruelty to animals during childhood are linked to the development of antisocial personality.

    Some people believe that psychopathic personality (psychopathy) is the same disorder. Others believe that psychopathic personality is a similar but more severe disorder.