Attention Deficit Disorder and Criminal Activity is a subject which researchers are just beginning to look into based on the amount of criminals who are currently suffering from ADD or ADHD and the amount of juvenile delinquents who are suffering from ADD and ADHD.
When looking into a possible link between ADD/ADHD and criminal activity it is important to fully understand what ADD/ADHD is. This slide gives an overview of the key points of ADD and ADHD.
The importance a person’s quality of life has on the decisions they make throughout life.
Long term effects of having ADD or ADHD.
Individuals who suffer from ADD or ADHD are more likely to commit the following criminal activity.
Seeing how treatment often only slightly increases the quality of life of an individual suffering from this condition it is important to also look at the side effects of the medications.
Although there appears to be a strong link between those who suffer from ADD/ADHD and criminal activity there are other things to consider as not every person who suffers from ADD/ADHD ends up on a path of criminal activity.
Since it is apparent that there is a link between ADD/ADHD and Criminal Activity it is important to continue research and expand the research to include more detailed theories so as to have a better understanding of how significant the link between the two is.
Attention Deficit Disorderand Criminal Activity
Attention Deficit Disorder and Criminal Activity<br />Stephanie Gilbert, December 13, 2010<br />
Is there a link between ADD/ADHD and Criminal Activity ?<br />Why the question is asked?<br />It is important to discover what some of the traits are in people which may or may not have an effect on whether or not they are more likely to commit a crime.<br />Why is this important to consider?<br />Recent studies of criminals have discovered that many have either had ADD or ADHD. <br />By determining what is at the root of the link between ADD/ADHD and criminal behavior , society can take the results and make the appropriate changes to decrease criminal activity. <br />
ADD/ADHD Facts<br />Attention Deficit Disorder or Hyperactive Attention Deficit Disorder is a common disorder among children and adults which was first diagnosed in 1902 (Additude Magazine, 2010). <br />ADD/ADHD were previously referred to as “Defect of Moral Control”, “Minimal Brain Damage”, and “Hyperkinetic Disorder” (Additude Magazine, 2010). <br />ADD or ADHD can be defined as a chronic condition which affects millions of children and adults and include symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, low self-esteem, and troubled relationships (Mayo Clinic, 2010). <br />Approximately three to five percent of the population of the United States suffers from either ADD or ADHD (Additude Magazine, 2010). <br />Unfortunately ADD / ADHD is not curable but there is a treatment which can help minimize the symptoms related to the disease. <br />Although some believe ADD/ADHD can only occur in children recent studies shows that it last into adults and can show up in brain scans along with having a genetic link (Additude Magazine, 2010). <br />There are a variety of medications available to treat individuals with this disorder. Some medications are government regulated, while others are of the more homeopathic type.<br />
Reasons Why ADD/ADHD May Lead to Criminal Activity<br />The main reason why there may be a significant link between ADD/ADHD and criminal activity has to do with an individual’s quality of life (Coghill, 2010).<br />An individual’s quality of life can be described as an individual’s subjective perception of their position in life as expressed in their physical, psychological, and social functioning (Coghill, 2010). <br />Studies show that an individual who is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD has a lower quality of life than a person who does not suffer from this condition (Coghill, 2010). <br />This study also explains that those who received medical treatment for the condition have a better quality of life than those who are not seeking treatment (Coghill, 2010). Unfortunately in many cases these medications only provide a short term increase in quality of life instead of a long term increase (Cognill, 2010). <br />
When ADD/ADHD is left Untreated, What can happen?<br />Can cause a person to spiral out of control (Additude, 2010)<br />Individuals are reported to have dropped out of school, lose jobs, and eventually fall into the criminal court system (Additude, 2010)<br />Individuals are reported to have lower reading achievement scores, greater absenteeism, increased chance of being held back in school, behavioral issues, and issues with drug and alcohol abuse (4-adhd, 2010)<br />
Criminal Activity in ADD/ADHD Individuals<br />The proportion of individuals who have been convicted and placed in jail and have ADD/ADHD is estimated to be high (Zimney, 2010)<br />Issues start in individuals at a young age as a person who is suffering from ADD/ADHD are at a greater risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, drinking and driving, and traffic violations (PubMed, 2010).<br />In a study of more than 10,000 adolescents which were later surveyed in adulthood found that children with ADHD were twice as likely to commit theft in their lifetime and fifty percent more likely to end up selling drugs (US News, 2010). The study also included analyzing the link of the individual symptoms to other crimes (US News, 2010).<br />
Can the treatment be a part of the problem?<br />The most common medications used to treat ADD/ADHD are Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta<br />Adderall was approved by the FDA for treatment of ADD/ADHD in 1996 and is composed of a mixture of four different amphetamine salts which is taken orally by an individual (Additude, 2010)<br />Side effects of Adderall can include everything from restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, dryness of the mouth, weight loss, euphoria, unpleasant taste, gastrointestinal disturbances, and psychotic reactions (Additude, 2010)<br />Ritalin is the brand name of methyphenidate which originated in 1956 and is considered to be a more controversial treatment of ADD/ADHD (Additude Magazine, 2010)<br />Side effects include loss of appetite, nervousness, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, stomach pain, fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, chest pain, fever, joint pain, skin rash and hives, unusual bleeding and bruising, blurred vision, agitation, confusion, convulsions, seizures, and false sense of well-being (Additude Magazine, 2010)<br />Concerta is the newest medication used to treat ADD/ADHD (Additude Magazine, 2010). <br />Side effects include headache, upper respiratory tract infection, stomachache, vomiting, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, increased cough, sore throat, sinusitis, dizziness, blurred vision, agitation, confusion, convulsions, and seizures (Additude Magazine, 2010)<br />
ADD/ADHD and Other Considerations<br />Some studies show that most criminals did in fact have ADD or ADHD, most also had other disorders, family issues, economic issues, and other hardships which also played into why they ended up on the life path which they did (Pardini & Fite, 2010)<br />ADD and ADHD is often associated with other disorders such as depression, mental disorders, conduct disorders, and oppositional defiant disorders. <br />
Facts about Criminals and ADD/ADHD<br />When looking into the mental health of criminals a majority of them do suffer from ADD or ADHD<br />Most of them have either been undiagnosed or untreated for this disorder, but this is usual not the only reason for concern among these criminals<br />
Future Research theories to Consider<br />Were the majority of convicted criminals who were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD taking medication at the time of their conviction? If so, which medication and did they express any extreme symptoms from the medication?<br />Were the majority of convicted criminals who were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD also diagnosed with other conditions such as depression, mental disorders, conduct disorders, or oppositional defiant disorder? If so were they receiving treatment for these disorders?<br />
Conclusion<br /> It seems clear that having ADD or ADHD alone will not make your more likely to end up as a criminal, but it does seem to be part of the puzzle. Society is trying to lower the overall crime rate so as to make the world a safer place. When doing this it is important to try to understand what makes a person follow a life of crime. Is it meanness, necessity, because of lack of treatment of disorders, or because of side effects related to medications involved in treatment of disorders? By further researching this it will raise awareness so as to help prevent others from following these patterns. Further research will also determine the effects of multiple conditions on the mind and how it relates to criminal activity. Research should also continue to be conducted to determine how sage the medications are which we use to treat all of the individuals which suffer from ADD/ADHD. Even if the research just rules out a possibility this would still take us one step closer to understanding why some individuals commit the horrific acts which they commit. We can’t help lower the crime rate by sitting around and doing nothing so by looking at disorders such as this which is most often diagnosed when a person is a child could provide some enlightenment as to why a person does what they do therefore providing a way to provide prevention in society.<br />
References<br />Mayo Clinic. (2010). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved on November 1, 2010 from www.mayoclinic.com.<br />Additude Magazine (2010) Living with Attention Deficit. Retrieved on December 1, 2010 from www.additudemag.com. <br />Pardini, D., & Fite, P.. (2010). Symptoms of Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Callous-Unemotional Traits as Unique Predictors of Psychosocial Maladjustment in Boys: Advancing an Evidence Base for DSM-V. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(11), 1134. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 2178861431).<br />Pediatrics; Scientists at Yale University target pediatrics. (2010, October). Mental Health Weekly Digest,2923. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 2167950561).<br />Coghill, D.. (2010). The Impact of Medications on Quality of Life in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder :A Systematic Review.CNS Drugs, 24(10), 843-866. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 2137437181).<br />Young, S., & Goodwin, E.. (2010). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in persistent criminal offenders: the need for specialist treatment programs. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(10), 1497-500. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 2174557581).<br />Miller, D., Derefinko, K., Lynam, D., Milich, R., & Fillmore, M.. (2010). Impulsivity and Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder: Subtype Classification Using the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32(3), 323-332. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Criminal Justice Periodicals. (Document ID: 2108887191).<br />Lee, Z., Klaver, J., Hart, S., Moretti, M., & Douglas, K. (2009). Short-Term Stability of Psychopathic Traits in Adolescent Offenders. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 38(5), 595-605. doi:10.1080/15374410903103536.<br />4ADHD. (2010). ADHD, Criminal Behavior and Academic Performance. Retrieved on November 4, 2010 from www.4-adhd.com.<br />U.S. News (2010). Childhood ADHD Linked to Criminal Behavior in Adults. Retrieved on November 4, 2010 from www.usnews.com.<br />Zimney, Ed (2010). Behind Bars: ADHD and Criminal Behavior. Retrieved on December 1, 2010 from www.everydayhealth.com.<br />