Brief Report: No Increase in Criminal Convictions in Hans Asperger’s Original Cohort

  • Kathrin HipplerEmail author
  • Essi Viding
  • Christian Klicpera
  • Francesca Happé
Brief Report


Hans Asperger originally used the term “autistic psychopathy” to describe his patients on the autism spectrum, leading to a possible confusion with psychopathic disorder and delinquent behaviour. We conducted a penal register search for 177 former patients of Asperger’s clinic with a childhood diagnosis of “autistic psychopathy” or features of the disorder in Austria. The mean percentage of registered convictions was similar to that in the general male population of Austria over the studied time period. A qualitative assessment of offence types in Asperger’s former patients suggests that the nature of offences does not differ from that in the general population. In this original cohort of Asperger’s patients, convictions were no more common than in the general male population.


Asperger syndrome Autistic psychopathy Convictions Offending 



The first author was supported by the Austrian Academy of Science (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) during the course of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrin Hippler
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Essi Viding
    • 2
  • Christian Klicpera
    • 1
  • Francesca Happé
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Applied PsychologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Division of Psychology and Language SciencesUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent MedicineMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  5. 5.Tagesklinische Station für Psychosomatik, E5Universitätsklinik für Kinder- und JugendheilkundeViennaAustria

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