Personality Disorders and Offending Behaviour

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Public discourse can be extraordinarily misleading. In few areas of public discourse is this fact more apparent than in the context of allocating blame for offending behaviours in society. To be sure, allocating blame is a rather simple exercise. Crime is blamed on substance abuse.


The real world is much more complicated than vague sound bites, as are offending behaviours and antisocial behaviours, and solutions demand a more careful reading of the literature and a broader discussion which recognizes causes rather than symptoms or tangential causes.
To this end, this paper will discuss the relationship between personality disorders and offending behaviours; in order to accomplish this, it will first be necessary to define a working definition of personality disorder and a basic typology before further exploring the risk factors that influence personality disorders over the course of an individual's life. It is the basic thesis of this paper that these risk factors and subsequent personality disorders explain offending behaviours far more satisfactorily than vague references to criminal subcultures, dangerous prisoners incapable of reform, or the dreaded substance abuse allegation.
As an initial matter, any rational discussion of the connections between personality disorders and offending behaviours demands precise definitions. This, however, has proven somewhat problematic in the instant case because different professional and social interests have approached the conceptual framework differently. ...
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