Long-Term Consequences of Childhood ADHD on Criminal Activities
39 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 14, 2009
The question of whether childhood mental illness has long term consequences in terms of criminal behavior has been little studied, yet it could have major consequences for both the individual and society more generally. In this paper, we focus on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), one of the most prevalent mental conditions in school-age children, to examine the long-term effects of childhood mental illness on criminal activities, controlling for a rich set of individual, family, and community level variables. The empirical estimates show that children who experience ADHD symptoms face a substantially increased likelihood of engaging in many types of criminal activities. An included “back-of-the-envelope” calculation of the social costs associated with criminal activities by individuals with childhood ADHD finds the costs to be substantial.
Keywords: Mental Illness, ADHD, Crime, Sibling Fixed Effects
JEL Classification: I1, J01
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