Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Reading Disability, and Personality Disorders
in a Prison Population.
K. Rasmussen and S. L. Roger Almvik,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
29(2): 186-193, 2001.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has long been recognized in
children, and for many the disorder persists into adulthood. There is a growing concern that the
adults with ADHD who have the least favorable outcome, are among those who end up in prison.
The aim of this study was to assess childhood ADHD and its persistence into adulthood among a
representative sample of Norwegian prison inmates, as well as personality disorders and reading
difficulties, which in previous studies have been linked to ADHD. The results indicate that
persistent ADHD is very common among prison inmates. Personality disorders and reading
difficulties are also common. Psychiatric comorbidity complicates the diagnosis of ADHD in
adults. A greater awareness about ADHD in adults certainly is warranted, especially within the
prison system because of the risk of misdiagnosing psychiatric disorders and also the risk of
missing a condition possibly amenable to treatment.