Adult Antisocial Behavior

The Antisocial Personal Disorder or APD is recognized to be a psychological mental health problem and is deemed to cause certain kinds of behavior in an individual.  Although the effect of this mental illness in a person would greatly vary, the disorder is said to result to violent tendencies, like destructive behavior even committing crimes like rape or murder.

There are of course interventions that can be applied to suppress its impacts on children and adult, and there are early warning signs that can be detected that signals personal affliction of the ailment. (McCord and Tremblay, 1992) The inability to prevent this disorder from early childhood can result to the sustaining of the disorder until adulthood, which can lead to violent outcomes.

  The antisocial disorder can be more common that what is usually perceived, as there are cases when people would be mild psychopaths – those who have violent tendencies, but not as threatening as full-blown psychopaths. (Kantor, 2006)  How the disorder can affect an individual can be wide and varied, and the capacity for treatment can also be ranged.

The prevalent and general feature of the APD is the individual’s indifference or ignorance of other people, and the pattern of such behavior is consistent and sustained, often resulting to violence.  Diagnosis would be dependent of the people surrounding the individual – those who witness his/her behavior – and the childhood history of one’s conduct and attitudes.  (Lykken, 1995)

The occurrence of the antisocial personality disorder is higher in males than in females, with 3% and 1% respectively, of the population diagnosed as having the mental disorder.  (Wolman, 1999) Several symptoms serves as red flags that indicate affliction, and these attitudinal indicators can vary widely among individuals.  It would be the consistency of the dysfunctional behavior that would determine if the person is indeed antisocial.

The individual’s inability to feel remorse or guilt after committing repetitive dysfunctional attitude would be a strong indicator of antisocial disorder.

One of the markers of the antisocial disorder is the constant resort to deceit and manipulation of a person.  Acts of violence and crime are committed without regard for others or care for the law or any other implications or ramifications.  Violating the rights of others is a known characteristic of APD, as with the tendency to lie or steal.  Disregard for others and difficulty to make and maintain friends is common in antisocial individuals.

They can also be susceptible to alcoholism, drug dependency, or any other substance abuse, and can be prone to committing acts of violence.   People with the antisocial behavior disorder can experience extreme difficulties in relating with others, or maintaining relationships, as they have little regard for the emotional and physical well-being of others.

Other characteristics that would show consistent dysfunctional behavior in terms of the persons capacity to socialize can be an indicator of the disorder.

The etiological background of the APD finds some connection to genetics, as the disorder is argued to be something inherited or passed over from parents, although the relationship would only refer to higher probability of occurrence and not the actual genetic transmission of the disorder.  Ultimately, the behavior of the person would be shaped by his/her social environment.

The family of the individual with APD can be a strong cause for the development and progression of the disorder.  For one, individuals with fathers that are alcoholics or sociopaths can be said to be more prone to developing the disorder; also, it can cause somatization disorder in females. (Kantor, 2006)

Another probable cause of antisocial disorder is the lack of maternal care or a mother, in the first years of the life of the child.  Parents of individuals with the disorder are usually lenient and do not show consistent effort to discipline the child.  Also, these parents displays unbecoming attitude, like alcoholism or abuse, which can impact on the behavior of the child.

  Improper rearing can distort the emotional and mental development of a child, and therefore lead to antisocial behavior in adulthood. The Macdonald triad – pyromania, bedwetting, and animal cruelty – is identified by scholars to be a sign of antisocial disorder in people below 18, which can easily be sustained until adulthood. (Heginbotham, 2000)

But the true cause of antisocial behavior in adults can be difficult to pinpoint, are prediction and tracing is quite complex and tedious; but the above indicators are noted to be the common characteristics of adults diagnosed with the disorder.

In our society, the antisocial behavior disorder is estimated to be found in a certain percentage of the population- with males having more propensities for acquiring the mental disease.  Studies show that 5.8% of males are under a lifetime risk of being antisocial, which is significantly higher than the female risk rate. (Wolman, 1999)

  For the females, the lifetime risk factor can be present in 1.2% of the population.  Actual prevalence the mental disorder is similarly higher in males, with 3% of the population said to be antisocial, which equates to almost 10 million in the United States. (Wolman, 1999)  The females have a 1% rate of antisocial behavior.

Environments where violent is prevalent, like penitentiaries and prisons, are noted to have 75% of the population diagnosed as being antisocial.  This clearly shows that individuals with the antisocial disorder are more likely to commit crimes and be penalized.

The treatment of the antisocial behavior would necessitate the mapping of the behavior of the person in able to determine the appropriate therapy or treatment that would be applied.  Although treatment and various social techniques is something that is available to people with the disorder, psychologists would claim that conduct disorders would be something that can be resistant to treatment.

Treatments of adults with the disorder is especially difficult, can no scientific evidence would prove that certain treatment indeed works.  Therapy and communication training is children can be a more effective tool, as it would prevent development of the behavior.  Exposing a person to social environments and cultivating positive relationships, like a good classroom setting, or more importantly, as healthy family life, can be a long-term deterrent to antisocial behavior.

In conclusion, antisocial behavior is a mental disorder that can lead a person to commit acts of violence – how violent it would be can vary to a wide extent – from domestic violence to theft to heinous crimes like rape, murder, and homicide.

The absence of remorse or any signs of guilt is cause by APD, and this type of emotional behavior would cause the individual to continuously exhibit dysfunctions in their behavior.  The antisocial disorder is something that can start from early childhood and can be developed to psychopath behavior until adulthood.

  Although genetic relationship can also be found, it is basically caused by the environment and situation of a person during his formative years of childhood, which can have massive impacts on behavior later in life.  Individuals with the APD are difficult to interact with, usually always in solitude, irritable, moody, deceptive and manipulative.

The disorder can occur in a small percentage of the population, and the prospect for cure or repression can be more effective if intervention would start from the onset of detection, or preferably, from childhood.


Black, Donald. (2000). Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder. C. Lindon Larson. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Brain, Christine. (2002). Advanced Psychology: Applications, Issues and Perspectives. United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes.

Heginbotham, Christopher. (2000). Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychotherapy: Personal Identity in Mental Disorder. England: Ashgate.

Kantor, Martin. (2006). The Psychopathy of Everyday Life: How Antisocial Personality Disorder Affects All of Us. United States: Praeger Publishers.

Larsen, Randy, and David Buss. (2008). Personality Psychology: Domains of Knowledge about Human Nature. Boston: McGraw Hill.

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