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Crim Behav Ment Health. 2017 Dec;27(5):443-456. doi: 10.1002/cbm.2009. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, type of offending and recidivism in a prison population: The role of substance dependence.

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2
Centre for Mental Health, Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.
3
Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
4
Clinical Psychology PhD Program, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is unclear whether adult offenders with a history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to re-offend, and if so, in any specific offences.

AIM:

This study aimed to examine correlates of childhood ADHD symptoms among prisoners.

METHODS:

A randomly selected sample of 1179 participants from the adult sentenced population of Puerto Rico (USA) reported their history of violent and non-violent offences, age of first arrest and re-offending. Participants completed retrospective measures of ADHD and a diagnostic interview for substance use disorders.

RESULTS:

Self-reported ADHD was associated with age of first arrest, a number of violent and non-violent offences and re-offending. The association with any non-violent offending was explained statistically by substance use disorders and other psychosocial covariates. ADHD was independently associated with being under 15 years of age at first arrest and with re-offending.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although some associations between ADHD and offending may be accounted for by co-morbidity with substance use disorders, early onset of offending and repeated violent offending appear to be directly related to ADHD. Criminal justice policies should, therefore, incorporate ADHD screening accompanied by appropriate rehabilitation programmes when such neurodevelopmental disorder is identified. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID:
27455899
PMCID:
PMC5269538
DOI:
10.1002/cbm.2009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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