Genetic and Environmental Structure of DSM-IV Criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Twin Study

Tom Rosenström, Eivind Ystrom, Fartein Ask Torvik, Nikolai Olavi Czajkowski, Nathan A. Gillespie, Steven H. Aggen, Robert F. Krueger, Kenneth S. Kendler, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Results from previous studies on DSM-IV and DSM-5 Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) have suggested that the construct is etiologically multidimensional. To our knowledge, however, the structure of genetic and environmental influences in ASPD has not been examined using an appropriate range of biometric models and diagnostic interviews. The 7 ASPD criteria (section A) were assessed in a population-based sample of 2794 Norwegian twins by a structured interview for DSM-IV personality disorders. Exploratory analyses were conducted at the phenotypic level. Multivariate biometric models, including both independent and common pathways, were compared. A single phenotypic factor was found, and the best-fitting biometric model was a single-factor common pathway model, with common-factor heritability of 51% (95% CI 40–67%). In other words, both genetic and environmental correlations between the ASPD criteria could be accounted for by a single common latent variable. The findings support the validity of ASPD as a unidimensional diagnostic construct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding from the US National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse (1R01DA037558-01A1), the Research Council of Norway (226985), the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation, the Norwegian Council for Mental Health, and the European Commission under the program "Quality of Life and Management of the Living Resources" of the Fifth Framework Program (QLG2-CT-2002-01254). THR had full access to all the data in this study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The funding sources had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.


  • Common pathway
  • Diagnostics
  • Multivariate biometric model
  • Psychometrics
  • Unidimensionality

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