n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder and dissocial personality disorder in a group of unsentenced prisoners

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Antisocial personalities are viewed as being either one disorder or different disorders with certain overlapping characteristics. These syndromes are clouded by uncertainties as discrepancies exist between the two different viewpoints which are reflected in research results. Cultural differences also add to the confusion. In the present study, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), dissocial personality disorder (DPD) and psychopathy among Sesotho-speaking unsentenced prisoners were compared empirically. More specifically, the prevalence of these disorders and their co-morbidity were determined. Biographical variables, such as the particular offence committed, the highest grade completed at school, the number of teenage arrests, marriage and family criminality were also compared. The group with a disorder (ASPD, DPD and / or psychopathy) was compared to the group without any of the three disorders, while the group with a single diagnosis (ASPD, DPD or psychopathy) was compared to the group without the specific single diagnosis. Gender differences were also discussed. Both expected and surprising results were obtained. Similarities and differences regarding personality characteristics, biographical variables and prevalence were found between all three disorders. These differences suggest that they are three distinct disorders, whilst the similarities indicate a significant degree of overlap. The prevalence of the three disorders was found to be higher than that reported in the general population, but lower than that reported in the prison population.

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