03:34am Sunday 29 March 2020

VCU Study: Antisocial Personality Disorder Influenced by Two Areas of Genetic Risk

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, or DSM-IV, is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that categorizes all mental health disorders for children and adults. Researchers have not examined the factor structure of the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder until now.

In the study, published online today in the February issue of Biological Psychiatry, using a twin study model, researchers conducted an in-depth analysis of the antisocial personality disorder criteria of the DSM-IV. Antisocial personality disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a person’s long-term pattern of manipulation or exploitation of those around them.

Read the journal’s release here.

“The key finding of this report is that genetic risk factors for antisocial personality disorder cannot be captured by just one dimension,” said first author Kenneth Kendler, M.D., director of the VCU Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.

“You need at least two independent sets of risk genes to explain the underlying nature of this disorder,” he said.

According to Kendler, the team assessed adult twins from the Virginia Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders by a self-report questionnaire. Next, a multivariate twin analysis was conducted to test for the presence of genetic and environmental factors on the criteria. Once the dimensions were identified, the team evaluated its validity.

Kendler collaborated with Steven H. Aggen, Ph.D., research associate at the VCU Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and Christopher J. Patrick, Ph.D., a research clinical psychologist at Florida State University.

The work was supported in part from the National Institutes of Health.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the study is available for reporters by contacting [email protected].

Sathya Achia Abraham
VCU Communications and Public Relations
(804) 827-0890
[email protected]

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