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ADHD linked to youth crime: study

ADHD linked to youth crime: study
Photo: ADHD linked to youth crime: study
Researchers have found children with ADHD are more likely to commit crimes during their youth than those without the condition.

PERTH, AAP - Children with ADHD are more likely to commit crimes in their youth than those without the condition, researchers say.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions in children and adolescents, affecting up to five per cent of young people worldwide.

A West Australian study published on Wednesday reveals boys and girls with ADHD are significantly more likely to have a juvenile criminal record than children without the disorder.

Researchers say the most typical first offence for all children is burglary or breaking and entering, but those with ADHD are twice as likely to commit such offences.

Telethon Kids Institute researcher and lead author Desiree Silva says there is no doubt children diagnosed with ADHD are more vulnerable and at a significantly greater risk of offending.

Professor Silva says the study raises the question whether early diagnosis and management of children with ADHD could help reduce that risk.

The study, which compared the juvenile criminal records of about 13,000 children with ADHD aged 10 to 21 with about 30,000 children without the disorder in WA, is believed to be the first of its kind.

Previous studies that looked at the link between ADHD and offending in youth or adult prisons found that up to three-quarters of juvenile inmates had the disorder.

Copyright AAP 2014

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