The clinical course of antisocial behaviors in men and women of three racial groups

Cindy L. Ehlers, Marc A. Schuckit, Victor Hesselbrock, David A. Gilder, Derek Wills, Kathleen Bucholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims: To describe the clinical course and symptom profile of DSM-IV Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and the syndrome of Adult Antisocial Behavior Syndrome (AABS) and determine if they differ based on sex and race. Methods: Using questions from a validated semi-structured interview, data were gathered from 2 independent family studies in: 1) American Indians (AI), and 2) European Americans (EA), African Americans (AA) (total n = 7171) who reported antisocial symptoms. Results: Within these two samples 1148 (16%) individuals met ASPD criteria, 1932 (27%) met adult ASPD but not childhood conduct disorder (CD) (i.e., AABS). The clinical course of the antisocial behaviors studied did not differ based on race or sex; however, individual symptom counts, and age of onsets of those symptoms, were significantly different across the groups. Women reported fewer symptoms and at an older age (less fights, school suspensions/expulsions, arrests or jail time), than men but were more likely to run away from home. Those with ASPD vs. AABS had more symptoms overall including not experiencing remorse. AA and AI participants and those with ASPD, had more symptoms, and were more likely to be suspended/expelled from school and arrested at a younger age than EA. Conclusion: In these select samples, the order and sequence of antisocial behaviors did not differ by race, AASB vs. ASPD, or sex; however individual symptom endorsement did, with men (vs. women), those with ASPD (vs. AABS), AI and AA (vs. EA) reporting more suspensions/expulsions from school and arrests. This suggests further study of the possible role of race and sex in the consequences associated with antisocial syndromes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • African Americans
  • American Indians
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Clinical course
  • Conduct disorder


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