To examine the relationships between antisocial personality disorder and executive abilities as well as antisocial personality disorder with other domains of cognitive functioning.
Previous research has suggested that antisocial personality disorder is associated with impaired executive functioning. However, methodological limitations of past research have resulted in inconsistent findings.
Executive functioning and other cognitive abilities were compared in four demographically matched groups of middle-aged community dwelling male veterans (N = 336). The groups were: (A) those with active antisocial personality disorder psychopathology; (B) those with a lifetime prevalence of antisocial personality disorder but inactive antisocial personality disorder psychopathology; (C) a nonantisocial personality disorder psychiatrically matched control group; and (D) a normal control group.
Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the four groups were not statistically significantly different on measures of executive functioning or other cognitive abilities.
Those with antisocial personality disorder perform at comparable levels to psychiatric and normal controls with respect to executive functioning and other domains of cognitive ability (i.e., language, memory, visuospatial, and motor abilities). An incidental finding was that, over time, the antisocial personality disorder groups improved more than control groups on a measure of general intellectual aptitude.