New study of the University reveals that 30% of inmates suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
October 15, 2015
Research reveals that early diagnosis and treatment of TDAH would avoid criminal behavior leading to imprisonment
Three out of every 10 inmates imprisoned suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, most commonly known as TDAH. The prevalence of this disorder is 5 times higher in prison population than in the general one. This is one of the main conclusions of the study carried out by a group of psychologists of the University of Oviedo that has just been published in the journal Psychology/Psicologia Reflexao e Crítica.
Psychology professor, Celestino Rodríguez Pérez, one of the leaders of this work, highlights that the results obtained prove that it is necessary to study this type of disorder in prison population in order to improve the therapeutic approach provided in prisons.
The group carried out screening tests on 143 inmates (133 men and 10 women, from 18 to 69 years old) who agreed to join these tests on a voluntary and anonymous basis. In 46 of them, approximately 30%, it was possible to confirm an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (6-7%in general population). Prevalence of TDAH was significantly higher in divorced and unemployed prisoners, and especially in those who had never completed their high school studies. In fact, none of the inmates who suffered this type of disorder had undertaken university studies successfully.
The prevalence of this disorder is significantly higher in divorced or unemployed inmates and in those who quit their studies before completion
This research sheds light on the relationship between this disorder and crime rates. Rodríguez Pérez suggests two hypotheses. The first one is based on the idea that this type of disorder may be the direct cause of criminal behavior. The second one points to the fact that this disorder and criminal behavior usually overlap. All in all, in accordance with this work and even though the consequences over the long term of suffering from TDAH since childhood have not been studied in-depth, it is been clearly proved that they are obvious in adulthood. Thus, Celestino Rodríguez highlights that "it seems to be proved that suffering this disorder since childhood, and not receiving treatment, increases the rate of criminal behavior and addiction to drugs, as well as problems in their personal relationships, in finding a job and in keeping it". Therefore, professor of the Department of Psychology of the University of Oviedo concludes, "effective interventions to treat the TDAH disorder are expected to decrease the risk of suffering these problems in adulthood".
Psychology/Psicologia Reflexao e Crítica
"Trastorno por Déficit de Atención e Hiperactividad (TDAH): Prevalencia y Características Sociodemográficas en Población Reclusa".
Celestino Rodríguez Pérez, José Carlos Núñez Pérez, Francisco José Rodríguez Díaz, Alba Parrales Granda y Trinidad García Fernández, of the University of Oviedo.
Carolina Bringas Molleda, of the University of Extremadura.