A meta-analysis of the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in incarcerated populations

Susan Young, Duncan Moss, Ottilie Sedgwick, Moshe K. Fridman, Paul S. Hodgkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Studies report the variable prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in incarcerated populations. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the prevalence of ADHD in these populations. Method: Primary research studies reporting the prevalence (lifetime/current) of ADHD in incarcerated populations were identified. The meta-analysis used a mixed log-binomial model, including fixed effects for each covariate and a random study effect, to estimate the significance of various risk factors. Results: Forty-two studies were included in the analysis. ADHD prevalence was higher with screening diagnoses versus diagnostic interview (and with retrospective youth diagnoses versus current diagnoses). Using diagnostic interview data, the estimated prevalence was 25.5% and there were no significant differences for gender and age. Significant country differences were noted. Conclusions: Compared with published general population prevalence, there is a fivefold increase in prevalence of ADHD in youth prison populations (30.1%) and a 10-fold increase in adult prison populations (26.2%).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-258
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • crime
  • diagnosis
  • incarcerated
  • offender
  • prevalence
  • prison

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