Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is one of the ten personality disorders mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Personality disorders are long-lasting patterns of maladaptive behavior that deviate from cultural norms. These maladaptive behaviors have an impact on a person’s cognition, affect, interpersonal functioning and impulse control. In the DSM personality disorders are divided into three clusters A, B and C and ASPD belongs to cluster B. People with this disorder are among the most dramatic of the individuals and are characterized by a long-standing pattern of a disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights (Firestone et al., 2010).It is important to note that Antisocial Personality Disorder is often referred to as psychopathy or sociopathy in popular culture. However, neither psychopathy nor sociopathy are recognized professional labels used for diagnosis and ASPD and psychopathy are considered two are distinct disorders(Gurley, 2009). Since people diagnosed with ASPD can cause a great deal of harm to society there is a tremendous amount of interest in studying this group and because of this interest and many years of research we know a great deal more about ASPD than about any other personality disorder (Durand et al., 2008).
Researchers today still don’t know what really causes Antisocial Personality Disorder. Although there are many theories about the possible causes and most professionals use a biopsychosocial model of causation. According to this model the causes of ASPD are likely a combination of biological genetic factors, social factors and psychological factors. Examples of social factors include how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children and psychological factors include the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress. The biopsychosocial model suggests that no single factor is responsible for causing ASPD and it is important to consider the complex relationship between all three factors.
Research suggests that a person with this personality disorder has a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be passed down to their children (Jaffe, 2012).Although there are no clear biological causes for this disorder, research on the possible biologic risk factors for developing ASPD indicates that the amygdala which is the part of the brain that is primarily responsible for learning from one's mistakes and for responding to sad and fearful facial expressions tends to be smaller and respond less robustly to the happy, sad, or fearful facial expressions of others(Zeier et al, 2012).
The diathesis stress model can be used to explain ASPD because while some individuals may be more vulnerable to developing antisocial personality disorder as a result of their particular genetic background, it is the person’s life experiences such as...