Fast Five Quiz: Antisocial Personality Disorder (Sociopathy)

Stephen Soreff, MD


November 11, 2021

A biologic and genetic contribution to antisocial behaviors is strongly supported. Approximately half of the total variance in antisocial behavior has been attributed to genetic influences, with the other half attributed to environmental factors. Low levels of behavioral inhibition may be mediated by serotonergic dysregulation in the septohippocampal system. Developmental or acquired abnormalities in the prefrontal brain systems and reduced autonomic activity may also be present in antisocial personality disorder. This may underlie the low arousal, poor fear-conditioning, and decision-making deficits.

Unlike other personality disorders, antisocial personality disorder is not diagnosable in childhood. Patients must be previously diagnosed with conduct disorder by age 15 years to fulfill diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Men are as much as three to five times more likely than women to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Native American persons are more likely to have antisocial personality disorder, whereas Asian and Hispanic persons are less likely.

Read more on the etiology of personality disorders.


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