Monday, January 02, 2012

Racial differences in antisocial personality disorder

A reader asked if I know of data on racial differences in psychopathy. I did find a sample of young adult South Floridians (called Drug Use Trajectories) which recorded DSM-IV diagnoses. Here are the percentages diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (APD) by race/ethnicty (sample size = 1,792):

Percent with APD

Non-Hispanic white 12.3
Non-black Hispanic 13.2
Black Hispanic 30.8*
Black 19.0*

*significantly higher than non-Hispanic whites

Blacks--both Hispanic and non-Hispanic--have significantly higher numbers than whites or non-black Hispanics. Keep in mind that many of the Hispanics in this sample are Cuban. The pattern of findings suggests that race matters, not ethnicity or culture.


  1. Interesting.

    I tried to find out about race differences in Autism/ Aspergers - which I predict would go in the opposite direction - but I couldn't locate any suitable studies.

  2. I'll look and see what I can find.

  3. Anonymous6:11 PM

    re: Asperger's rate -- what I'd be more interested in there is if it correlates negatively with social capital or some reasonable proxy thereof. (Is there data for rates of Asperger's by zip code? Could combine that and then check for correlations with ethnic diversity. Would also be interesting to see if non-elite suburbs have higher Asperger's rates.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if the race differences for autism aren't as wide as most people would expect. Anecdotal evidence, but I know someone who was misdiagnosed with Asperger's and shipped off to special ed; he was apparently very frequently the only white student (patient?) in the room.

  4. Without some proof, your statement is worthless!


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