Anti-social personality disorder is hard to diagnose in toddlers.

The Characteristics of an Anti-Social Personality in a Toddler

by Kim Blakesley

Anti-social personality disorder, also known as ASPD, is a rare mental disorder that afflicts all age groups. ASPD is also known as conduct disorder in children. Studies have shown that antisocial personality disorder is triggered by a combination of biological, environmental or genetic situations. A dysfunctional family life is one situation in which ASPD in a child may be demonstrated at an early age. Some signs of ASPD traits in a toddler include irritability, the breaking of rules, a disregard for other's feelings, selfishness, impulsiveness, anger and/or aggression.

1. Disregard of Rules

A toddler with anti-social personality disorder will have a disregard for the rules and guidelines of their environment no matter the location. Inconsistent parenting, praise and consequences, will cause the traits of the disorder to escalate. Traits that will surface while the toddler is disregarding or breaking the rules include irritability, temper tantrums and the lack of anxiety or guilt. These traits will become more pronounced as the toddler ages.

2. Disregard of Feelings

Toddlers with ASPD will show a disregard of feelings for children around them. Actions related to this trait include taking things from other children; physical attacks such as biting, scratching or hitting; lack of empathy when they hurt another child and talking back to authority figures.

3. Selfishness and Stubbornness

Selfishness and stubbornness are traits of antisocial personality disorder that are seen in toddlers when they do not get their way. A toddler may insist upon doing a particular task her way no matter the consequences. As such, disciplining the toddler will not affect the behavior and they will continue striving to complete the task they have in mind.

4. Irritability, Anger and Aggression

A toddler with antisocial behavior disorder will show excess signs of irritability, anger and aggression. Examples of these traits include taking toys from other children, physically attacking others to attain what he wants, not following rules or directions, and/or a look of defiance on his face when he is told to do something.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

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