Personality Disorders and Criminal Behaviro

Amber ZonaMidterm Essay Race and CrimeMarch 6, 2012 Personality Disorders and Criminal Behavior There are many recent findings that there are correlations between criminal behavior and certain personality disorders. In this essay I will go over research found in relation to different crimes and the disorders the people have that commit these crimes. My studies indicate that there are many criminals with Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Paranoia, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Schizoid Personality Disorder amongst many others.

Data used from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity shows that conduct disorder scores were significantly related to all \offense categories. Antisocial Personality Disorder scores were associated with most offenses. The crimes most popular were unlawful firearms, robbery, fraud, burglary and violence. (Davison, 2012) This correlation between crime and Antisocial Personality Disorder makes a lot of sense because this disorder can be defined as a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society.

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Unsurprisingly, many criminals have this disorder. It is obvious that the people that commit such crimes have many of the symptoms. Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental disorder that belongs to the same group of illness as Antisocial Personality Disorder. Some symptoms include unstable self-image, unstable relationships and unstable emotions where they experience marked, rapid changed in feelings. They can go from being happy one minute to completely angry the next for no reason.

In my study, I was shocked to find there was no association between Borderline Personality Disorder and types of offending, even though there are high rates of this disorder found in Prisoners, especially women. Although there may be no correlation with violent offenses and Borderline Personality Disorder, studies have shown stalking is committed by many people with this disorder. Many of the cases of stalking were over ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends where the person with the disorder would stalk after a breakup. Most cases don’t end up violent; it is mostly out of jealousy. Davison, 2012) I also found that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder associated with firearm offenses and violence. Paranoid Personality Disorder relates with people who are associated with robbery and blackmail. Schizoid Personality Disorder patients mostly were involved with kidnapping, burglary and theft. (Davison, 2012) Interestingly, homicides and sex offenses are not associated with any personality disorder. There are also no relationships between Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder or Paranoid Personality Disorders.

Many people with Borderline do have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, though. Also, Borderline patients and prostitution have a high correlation. (Davison, 2012) In studying the relationship between motivation for offending and personality disorders, I found that each type of motivation had a specific relationship with these disorders. Antisocial Personality Disorder correlates with excitement and financial motivations. Paranoid Personality Disorders correlated significantly with compliance motivation. Drug dependence; however was the most extreme predictors of financial motivation.

There is a high correlation with drug use and any personality disorder because these people find it hard to cope with their emotions and reality as it is. Since most people aren’t diagnosed with such disorders until their early twenties, it is very difficult to predict such behaviors at a young age. Often the issue that a mental health counselor is dealing with has nothing to do with an assessment of future criminal behavior, but instead deals with long-term educational strategies or family intervention strategies. Even when future criminal behavior is considered, most mental health rofessionals do not have the skills to help them at a young age. (Wilson, 2002) Antisocial Personality Disorder is the leading illness related to criminal behavior. It is not confined to anyone under the age of eighteen years old. Therefore, it is almost impossible to treat this behavior as a juvenile. By the time people with this mental illness are twenty years old, most have not been diagnosed, yet already have begun their criminal careers. There is much evidence that personality disorder is related to offending. My studies indicate that Antisocial Personality Disorder is the leading correlation with criminal behavior.

Another theory could be linked to substance misuse, where substance misuse is what leads people with mental illness to offending. Now that there is such evidence of the relationship between personality disorders and criminal behavior, more in-depth research must be done on risk assessment, management and treatment. Sources: 1. www. medscape. com. viewarticle/754975 by Sophie Davison, 2012 2. Relationship Between Criminal Behavior and Mental Illness in Young Adults, Paul Wilson, 2002 3. www. medterms. com 4. www. medicinenet. com

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