Lukas Aranauskas1, Rima Kavalnienė1
1Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Vilnius, Lithuania
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequent neurodevelopmental disorder in children. Often ADHD symptoms start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. People with ADHD may have an increased risk of criminal and antisocial behaviour. The aim of this review was to examine studies that investigate relationship between childhood ADHD and criminal behaviour in adulthood. The Pubmed, PsycINFO and Embase databases were searched for controlled studies that included children and adolescents with ADHD and their criminal records as adults. Eight studies that were published since 2008 and have met the criteria were selected. In all eight selected studies the same tendency appeared – the diagnosis of ADHD in childhood was a significant predictor of an adult criminal and antisocial behaviour. Individuals with early ADHD symptoms had an increased risk of criminal recidivism. The most frequently committed criminal offenses were theft, assault, drug- and weapon-related crime. ADHD increases the risk for developing antisocial and substance use disorders in adolescence, which, in turn, increases the risk for criminal behaviour in adolescence and adulthood. Early antisocial problems were identified as potentially relevant predictor for later antisocial involvement. These findings suggest, that diagnosis of ADHD in childhood increases the risk of antisocial and criminal behaviour in adulthood.