The Link between ADHD Symptoms and Antisocial Behavior: The Moderating Role of the Protective Factor Sense of Coherence

Haym Dayan, Mona Khoury-Kassabri, Yehuda Pollak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have established the link between ADHD and antisocial behavior, one of the most serious functional impairments caused by the disorder. However, research on protective factors that mitigate this link is still lacking. The Salutogenic Model of Health offers the “Sense of Coherence” (SOC), establishing that individuals who see their lives as logical, meaningful, and manageable are more resistant to various risk factors and diseases. The present study examines for the first time whether SOC is also a protective factor against different ADHD-related types of antisocial behaviors (severe/mild violent behavior, verbal violence, property crimes, public disorder, and drug abuse). A total of 3180 participants aged 15–50 completed online questionnaires assessing the level of ADHD symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and SOC. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine the research hypothesis. An interaction between ADHD symptoms and SOC was found in predicting each type of antisocial behavior (beta = −0.06–−0.17, p < 0.01). The link between ADHD symptoms and antisocial behavior was significantly weaker for high than low SOC participants, regardless of age group. The current study found that people with high SOC are protected against the effect of ADHD symptoms on one of the most serious functional impairments, antisocial behavior. These findings suggest that SOC is a protective factor from the adverse effects of ADHD symptoms, justifying further prospective and intervention studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1336
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2022

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  • ADHD
  • antisocial behavior
  • protective factors
  • sense of coherence


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