Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2707–2716 | Cite as

Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Violent Criminality: A Sibling Control Study

  • Sebastian LundströmEmail author
  • Mats Forsman
  • Henrik Larsson
  • Nora Kerekes
  • Eva Serlachius
  • Niklas Långström
  • Paul Lichtenstein
Original Paper


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.


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



This project was supported by grants to Dr. Lichtenstein and Dr. Långström from the Swedish Research Council (Medicine), the Swedish Prison and Probation Services, and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. As this was a register study the informed consent procedure was not applicable, the study was, however, approved by the Karolinska Institute Ethical Review Board: DNR 2009/:10.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Lundström
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Mats Forsman
    • 4
  • Henrik Larsson
    • 4
  • Nora Kerekes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eva Serlachius
    • 5
  • Niklas Långström
    • 2
    • 4
  • Paul Lichtenstein
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health (CELAM)University of GothenburgMölndalSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Prison and Probation ServiceR&D UnitGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Gillberg Neuropsychiatry CentreUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Medical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Division of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical NeuroscienceCentre for Psychiatric Research and EducationStockholmSweden

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