[Psychiatric disorders and childhood trauma in prisoners with antisocial personality disorder]

D Kopp, C Spitzer, P Kuwert, S Barnow, S Orlob, H Lüth, H J Freyberger, M Dudeck
Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie 2009, 77 (3): 152-9
Previous studies indicate high prevalence rates of mental disorders and trauma among prisoners. Based on a sample of 102 male German prisoners, the comorbidity and childhood trauma experiences in 72 criminals with antisocial personality disorder were investigated. Furthermore, associations of antisocial personality disorder and early traumatic experiences with the age at first conviction and the lifetime months of imprisonment were examined. Subjects had high rates of comorbid lifetime and current disorders as well as childhood trauma experiences. Physical abuse in childhood and adolescence was identified as a predictor for lifetime months of imprisonment, antisocial personality disorder was found to be a predictor for the age at first conviction. Our findings confirm the hypothesis of prisoners with antisocial personality disorder being a severely traumatized population with serious mental disorders. Traumatic childhood experiences and antisocial personality disorder are associated with criminality variables. This has important implications on preventive treatments as well as on how prison services are addressing these problems.

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