Background: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is known to be a risk factor for antisocial and delinquent behaviour, but there is still a lack of information on how features of ADHD relate to offending behaviour among adults not already defined by their offending. Aims: Our aim was to add to knowledge about relationships between ADHD and antisocial behaviour among adults in the general population by answering the following questions: (A) Does the level of self-reported ADHD features relate to criminal and non-criminal antisocial behaviour? (B) To what extent are self-ratings of ADHD features independent of socio-demographic features previously identified as predictors of antisocial behaviour?. Methods: A sample of adults was originally recruited to study public response to the COVID-19 outbreak through an online panel to be representative of the Israeli population. Among other scales, the 2025 participants completed an ADHD self-report scale, an antisocial behaviour self-report scale and a socio-demographic questionnaire probing for age, gender, urbanity, place of birth, socioeconomic status (education and income), family status (being in a relationship and having children) and religiosity. Results: Higher mean totals for the inattention and hyperactivity ADHD scale scores were associated with higher mean antisocial behaviour scores. These relationships were only slightly affected by socio-demographic variables, including sex, age, education and income. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that not only may features of ADHD, even below a diagnostic threshold, constitute a risk factor for antisocial behaviour, but also that the self-rated levels of these problems covary. These findings are important for informing the early detection of risk of antisocial behaviour in the general population and its prevention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space, Israel.
© 2023 The Authors. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- antisocial behaviour
- categorical approach
- dimensional approach
- early detection of delinquency