This refers to a child or adult who is unable to be disciplined, who performs impulsive antisocial acts without any understanding of the feelings of others, and without any qualms regarding his disturbed behavior. It also refers to a person who has never been taught limits: that he sometimes should delay or postpone gratification, that a sense of guilt should follow wrongdoing. It implies the inability to develop a “conscience” or a sense of self-limitation. It implies the inability to see reality properly or to learn from experience or disaster. A child who is habitually cruel, destructive, intolerant of the feelings of others, shows characteristics of this disorder. These children urgently require treatment; otherwise they will grow up to become serious delinquent and criminal problems.
Most behavior problems which begin in childhood and continue untreated into adolescence will show up as adolescent character disorders. Personality traits may carry over, show feelings of self-contempt and unworthiness, attitudes of arrogance and contempt, hostility and exploitation. Or on the other hand, they may show continued dependency and inability to rely on the self. Children may also show attitudes of excessive ingratiation or an attempt to please others, which is equally abnormal since it does not show an adequate concern for one’s self as an individual.