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Antisocial Personality Disorder

Part Two. Specific Disorders

  1. Christopher J. Patrick,
  2. Lindsay D. Nelson

Published Online: 29 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118528563.wbcbt53

The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How to Cite

Patrick, C. J. and Nelson, L. D. 2013. Antisocial Personality Disorder. The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Part Two:53:1263–1298.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 NOV 2013


Antisocial personality disorder exacts a costly toll on society and poses many unique challenges for treatment. This chapter reviews historic conceptions of antisocial personality disorder and the related but distinct condition of psychopathy. The systematic co-occurrence of antisocial personality disorder with other diagnostic conditions (e.g., alcoholism, other forms of drug dependence) is discussed, and research is reviewed indicating that disorders of these types (termed “externalizing” disorders) share a common underlying dispositional vulnerability. This is followed by a review of current diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder and changes to the diagnosis that have been proposed for the DSM-5, highlighting parallels to the literature (including changes proposed for the DSM-5) on conduct disorder, the childhood precursor to adult antisocial personality disorder. The chapter concludes with a discussion of currently available methods of treatment for antisocial populations, emphasizing the best-supported cognitive behavioral approaches, and future directions for treatment based on recent developments in the literature reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on ways in which interventions could be tailored to meet the unique treatment needs of phenotypically distinct subgroups of antisocial individuals, and how emerging knowledge of the neurobiological underpinnings of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy might be applied to developing alternative methods of treatment such as pharmacologically based or neuro-reprogramming (e.g., brain-process oriented training, or direct brain biofeedback) approaches that directly target cognitive and affective processing deficits common in these populations.


  • antisocial personality disorder;
  • psychopathy;
  • externalizing;
  • offenders;
  • aggression;
  • treatment;
  • cognitive behavioral;
  • neuroscience