News: Specialized Press

Children who experience face a substantially increased likelihood of engaging in criminal activities

Source: JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH POLICY AND ECONOMICS 2009; 12 (3): 119-138 / Date: October 30, 2009 / Category: Specialized Press

The findings, believed to be the first evidence of a link between ADHD and criminal activity, were published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics.

The study included more than 10,000 adolescents who were later surveyed in adulthood. It found that youngsters with ADHD were twice as likely to commit theft later in life. "While much research has shown links between ADHD and short-term educational outcomes, this research suggests significant longer-term consequences in other domains, such as criminal activities,", said the study lead author Jason M. Fletcher, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health. "We also found important differences in the association between adult crime and the type of childhood ADHD symptoms -- whether hyperactive or inattentive or both," he said

Fletcher and colleagues plan to investigate whether drug treatments may reduce the illegal activities associated with ADHD in adulthood. The researchers also plan to study the associations between childhood ADHD symptoms and later employment and earnings.

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