ADHD Is Associated With a Widespread Pattern of Risky Behavior Across Activity Domains

Rachel Shoham, Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Ilan Yaniv, Yehuda Pollak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: ADHD has been linked to higher engagement in risky behaviors in circumscribed domains such as dangerous driving, substance abuse, and gambling. This study tests whether ADHD is associated with a pervasive tendency to engage in risky behavior across a spectrum of activities and domains, and whether this tendency is driven by comorbid disorders. Method: A sample of 97 adults with ADHD and 103 typically developing controls completed a self-report questionnaire measuring the likelihood and frequency of engaging in a broad range of risky behaviors. ADHD, comorbid psychiatric disorders, and demographic variables were extensively assessed using standardized instruments. Results: Participants with ADHD reported a pervasive tendency to engage in risky behaviors across multiple activities. This tendency was associated with ADHD over and above the contribution of comorbid psychiatric disorders. Conclusion: These results suggest that ADHD is uniquely linked to a pervasive pattern of engagement in risky behaviors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)989-1000
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • ADHD
  • adults
  • comorbid psychiatric disorders
  • risky behaviors


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