Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a mental disorder defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: "The essential feature for the diagnosis is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." Considered essential features of the disorder are deceit and manipulation. Therefore it is essential in making the diagnosis to collect material from sources other than the individual being diagnosed. Also, the individual must be age 18 or older as well as have a documented history of a conduct disorder before the age of 15.
The criteria for the Antisocial Personality Disorder were derived from the Research Diagnostic Criteria developed by Spitzer, Endicott and Robbins (1978). There was concern in the development of DSM-IV that there was too much emphasis on research data and not enough on the more traditional psychopathic traits such a