This year, we’ve decided to try something new with our social work blogs to help highlight the different types of questions on the social work exams. When covering a new topic, we’ll take the first month to do a recall question on that topic. After that, the next month we’ll take the same topic and do a reasoning based question. While both the master’s level LMSW and clinical level LCSW ASWB exams have more reasoning than recall, you want to be prepared for both types of questions. For the months of April and May, we’ll cover the topic of Antisocial Personality Disorder. The last two months we focused on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Because a lot of people have trouble distinguishing between these disorders, we want to take some time to highlight the differences.
What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?
Antisocial Personality Disorder is marked by a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others. DSM 5 criteria for AntisocialPersonality Disorder Include:
- Failure to conform to social norms, including engaging in repeated acts that are grounds for arrest.
- Deceitfulness (including lying, using aliases, and/or conning others for personal profit or pleasure).
- Irritability and aggressiveness (including repeated physical fights or assaults).
- Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others.
- Consistent irresponsibility (including failure to sustain consistent work behaviors or honor financial obligations).
- Lack of remorse (including being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from others).
What is the difference between Antisocial Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Overall, Narcissistic personality disorder is marked by pervasive grandiosity, self-importance, and entitlement as well as a lack of empathy for others. With this disorder, you see people who view themselves as superior, special, and unique. They often exaggerate achievements and fantasize about unlimited power, success, and brilliance.
With Antisocial Personality Disorder, you see a disregard for and violation of the rights of others. This is about more than a grandiose sense of self. It is about unremorseful and harmful behavior that impacts other people. There is a reckless disregard for the safety of others. People with Antisocial Personality Disorder rationalize hurting others. With this diagnosis, we see law-breaking, lying, aggression, and deception for personal gain.
How will Antisocial Personality Disorder be tested?
Similarly to any of the personality disorders, there are several ways this disorder could be tested on the exam. You could see a recall question asking about the criteria of this disorder. You could also see an application question that could, for example, give symptoms of this personality disorder and have you identify which disorder it is. Or you could see a reasoning based question, where you are working with a client with symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and have it ask what to do FIRST/NEXT or what is MOST important to consider.
ASWB Practice Question:
All of the following are symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder EXCEPT:
A. A grandiose pattern of self importance
B. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
C. Repeated lying and deception for personal profit or gain
D. Rationalizing hurting others
(Scroll for answer and rationale)
The correct answer is A: A grandiose pattern of self importance. All of the other answer options represent criteria of Antisocial Personality Disorder. A is not indicative of this personality disorder and is actually one of the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
ASWB Masters and Clinical Exam Preparation
How did you do with this month’s recall question? Whether you feel 100% confident in this topic or need some additional support, TDC’s masters and clinical level exam prep programs are here to help prepare you for this topic. (And everything else you need to be successful on your exam!). TDC has helped THOUSANDS of social workers successfully pass their social work licensing exams. If you’re ready to pass in 2021, sign up today!