Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2707-2716

Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Violent Criminality: A Sibling Control Study

  • Sebastian LundströmAffiliated withCentre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health (CELAM), University of GothenburgSwedish Prison and Probation Service, R&D UnitGillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Gothenburg Email author 
  • , Mats ForsmanAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Henrik LarssonAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Nora KerekesAffiliated withCentre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health (CELAM), University of GothenburgSwedish Prison and Probation Service, R&D Unit
  • , Eva SerlachiusAffiliated withDivision of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Psychiatric Research and Education
  • , Niklas LångströmAffiliated withSwedish Prison and Probation Service, R&D UnitDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Paul LichtensteinAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

The longitudinal relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and violent criminality has been extensively documented, while long-term effects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), tic disorders (TDs), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on criminality have been scarcely studied. Using population-based registers of all child and adolescent mental health services in Stockholm, we identified 3,391 children, born 1984–1994, with neurodevelopmental disorders, and compared their risk for subsequent violent criminality with matched controls. Individuals with ADHD or TDs were at elevated risk of committing violent crimes, no such association could be seen for ASDs or OCD. ADHD and TDs are risk factors for subsequent violent criminality, while ASDs and OCD are not associated with violent criminality.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Neurodevelopmental disorders Criminality Familial confounding