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Nord J Psychiatry. 2002;56(2):137-44.

Mental and personality disorders as well as personality traits in a Swedish male criminal population.

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital, Uppsala University, SE-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.


The study describes personality traits and the presence of personality disorders and mental disorders in a consecutive series of 130 male prisoners in Swedish jails sentenced for serious criminality. The investigation included a psychiatric examination by means of the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) as well as information taken from criminal records. Personality assessments were made by means of self-report questionnaires, the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) and the DSM-IV and ICD-10 Personality Disorder Questionnaire (DIP-Q). The most common mental disorders were alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, which were present in 55% of the subjects. Personality disorders, too, were common, being present in 56% of the subjects. In the KSP, high scores were found in scales related to impulsiveness, sensation-seeking, nervous tension and distress, cognitive-social anxiety, hostility and aggression. Very low scores were found in the Socialization scale, reflecting a high degree of psychopathy-related personality traits. Despite the high morbidity, the global level of functioning was unexpectedly high, 66 according to GAF. The male prisoners sentenced for heavy criminality had a high degree of both mental disorders and personality disorders. Furthermore, psychopathy-related personality traits were common.

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