Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and criminal behaviour: The role of adolescent marginalization

Jukka Savolainen, Tuula M. Hurtig, Hanna E. Ebeling, Irma K. Moilanen, Lorine A. Hughes, Anja M. Taanila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior research has established a strong link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and criminal behaviour. Drawing on two key theories of life-course criminology - Moffitt's (1993) dual taxonomy and Sampson and Laub's (1993) age-graded theory of informal social control - the purpose of the present study was to examine the aetiology of this association. Consistent with Moffitt's theory, we found the effect of ADHD on crime to be substantial and moderated by cognitive deficits (low verbal ability). Adolescent social bonds - variables derived from Sampson and Laub's theory - did not mediate the interaction effect. However, in support of age-graded theory, we found that adolescent social marginalization contributes significantly to criminal behaviour independently of early childhood measures of criminal propensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-459
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Finland
  • criminal behaviour
  • life-course theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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