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Psychosis. 2012 Jan 1;4(1):52-62.

Antisocial Personality Disorder in People with Co-Occurring Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders: Clinical, Functional, and Family Relationship Correlates.

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Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University.


Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is an important correlate of substance abuse severity in the addiction population and in people with co-occurring serious mental illness and addiction. Because family members often provide vital supports to relatives with co-occurring disorders, this study explored the correlates of ASPD in 103 people with co-occurring disorders (79% schizophrenia-schizoaffective, 21% bipolar disorder) in high contact with relatives participating in a family intervention study. Clients with ASPD were more likely to have bipolar disorder and to have been married, but less likely to have graduated from high school. ASPD was associated with more severe drug abuse and depression, worse functioning, and less planning-based social problem solving. The relatives of clients with ASPD also reported less planning-based problem solving, worse attitudes towards the client, and worse mental health functioning. Client ASPD was associated with less long-term exposure to family intervention. The findings suggest that clients with ASPD in addition to co-occurring disorders are a particularly disadvantaged group with greater illness severity, more impaired functioning, and more strained family relationships. These difficulties may pose special challenges to delivering family intervention for this group.

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