The prevalence of personality disorders in Portuguese male prison inmates: Implications for penitentiary treatment

Nélio Brazão, Carolina da Motta, Daniel Rijo, José Pinto-Gouveia


Prison inmates are known to be a population with a high prevalence of mental disorders. Most of these disorders are chronic and difficult to treat, particularly in what concerns Cluster B Personality Disorders, which prevalence in forensic samples  are even higher than in the general population. This study assesses the prevalence of Personality Disorders in a sample of 294 Portuguese male prison inmates, interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II). The results showed a global prevalence rate of 79.9%, with 42.8% of the participants diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder as the main diagnosis. Paranoid, Passive-Aggressive, Borderline, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders were the most common comorbid diagnosis associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder. These results strongly suggest that Personality Disorders should be taken into account when deciding and planning the intervention inside prison.


Prevalence; Personality Disorders; Male Prison Inmates; Penitentiary Treatment.

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