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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Antisocial Personality Disorder and romantic relationship functioning in an epidemiologically-based sample
by Bell, Marie Cugini, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2009, 228; 3371812
Abstract (Summary)

The objective of this project was to characterize the romantic relationship functioning of those with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). There is a gap in the literature on this topic. An epidemiologically-based, longitudinal, community sample collected by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (N = 1297) was used. It was hypothesized that the relationship functioning of participants with ASPD would be more maladaptive as compared to those without ASPD. This notion was generally supported. Relationships of those with ASPD were found to be more impaired regarding: general relationship quality, confiding with their partners, sharing activities with their partners, communication, number of partnerships (i.e., promiscuity), mutual emotional abuse, and mutual physical abuse. However, affection, commitment, and viewing their relationships as important were not found to differ between the ASPD and non-ASPD groups. Unexpectedly, relationships of those with ASPD were found to be longer than those without ASPD. A gender interaction was found for emotional and physical abuse, but not for relationship quality. There is some evidence, then, that the relationships of women are particularly impacted by ASPD. Counter to hypotheses, childhood disruptive experiences and maltreatment did not predict adult relationship quality for those with the disorder. However, childhood maltreatment did predict adult relationship quality for those without ASPD. The goal of establishing heterogeneity regarding romantic relationships within the disorder was thus not met. This study provides empirical evidence of the romantic relationship impairment of those with ASPD and has implications for understanding the relationship strategies these individuals may employ.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Christopher M.
Commitee: Deluty, Robert H., Ialongo, Nicholas S., Schaeffer, Cindy M., Ting, Laura
School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-B 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Antisocial, Antisocial personality disorder, Development, Gender, Marital quality, Relationship quality
Publication Number: 3371812
ISBN: 978-1-109-33494-4
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