Conduct disorder and antisocial personality in adult primary care patients

Kristen Lawton Barry, Michael F. Fleming, Linda Baier Manwell, Laurel A. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Conduct disorder has been linked to substance use disorders in clinical populations. This study examined the relationships of conduct disorder and antisocial personality (ASP) disorder to substance use, substance abuse problems, depression, and demographic factors in primary care settings. METHODS. As part of a larger Clinical trial, a survey of 1898 patients in the offices of 64 Primary care physicians was conducted using a self-administered health habits questionnaire. Childhood conduct disorder and adult antisocial personality disorder were assessed using criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised. RESULTS. Eight percent of men and 3.1% of women met criteria for a diagnosis of ASP disorder. The frequency of a history of childhood conduct disorders was higher, with 13.4% for men and 4% for women. Antisocial personality disorder was predicted by male sex, being unmarried (single, separated, divorced), lifetime history of depression, binge drinking, self- reported history of drug problems, current smoking, and younger age. The predictors of a history of child conduct disorder were similar to those of ASP. CONCLUSIONS. Primary care physicians treat many patients who have personality disorders and other conditions such as alcohol problems and depression. These patients need to be identified because of the high potential for comorbidity and the barriers to treatment inherent in these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Child behavior disorders
  • Family
  • Physicians
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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