Prevalence of adult ADHD in an all-female prison unit

  • Romana Farooq
  • Lisa-Marie Emerson
  • Sue Keoghan
  • Marios Adamou
Original Article


There is increasing evidence suggesting a link between ADHD and criminality, including a strong association between ADHD symptoms and the likelihood of being on probation or in prison. Most studies investigating the prevalence of ADHD in prison populations have focused on adult male offenders. In the current study, 69 female prisoners were screened for both childhood and adult ADHD symptoms using the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale-IV. The results indicate that 41 % of the prisoners met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in childhood and continued to meet criteria for ADHD as adults. More importantly, young female prisoners (aged 18–25) were significantly more likely to report symptoms of ADHD than older prisoners. Prisoners who reported symptoms of ADHD also reported high levels of impairment associated with these symptoms. A better understanding of the prevalence of ADHD in female prison units can highlight specific areas for intervention during rehabilitation, as well as the management of serious incidents within prison.


ADHD Adult Female Prison Forensic 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romana Farooq
    • 1
  • Lisa-Marie Emerson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sue Keoghan
    • 1
  • Marios Adamou
    • 1
  1. 1.Manygates Clinic, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation TrustWakefieldUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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