Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Violent Criminality: A Sibling Control Study
The longitudinal relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and violent criminality has been extensively documented, while long-term effects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), tic disorders (TDs), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on criminality have been scarcely studied. Using population-based registers of all child and adolescent mental health services in Stockholm, we identified 3,391 children, born 1984–1994, with neurodevelopmental disorders, and compared their risk for subsequent violent criminality with matched controls. Individuals with ADHD or TDs were at elevated risk of committing violent crimes, no such association could be seen for ASDs or OCD. ADHD and TDs are risk factors for subsequent violent criminality, while ASDs and OCD are not associated with violent criminality.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Neurodevelopmental disorders Criminality Familial confounding
This project was supported by grants to Dr. Lichtenstein and Dr. Långström from the Swedish Research Council (Medicine), the Swedish Prison and Probation Services, and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. As this was a register study the informed consent procedure was not applicable, the study was, however, approved by the Karolinska Institute Ethical Review Board: DNR 2009/:10.
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