Background: Research has suggested increased risk of anti-social behaviour amongst individuals with intellectual disability (ID).
Methods: This study reports the results of a secondary analysis of data relating to self-reported anti-social behaviour, obtained from the 1999 Office for National Statistics (ONS) study of the mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain. Self-report data from 4174 adolescents was available. Within this group, a sub-group of 98 adolescents with ID was identified. Data covered a variety of sub-types of anti-social behaviour.
Results: Comparisons of individuals with ID and those without ID indicated a significantly higher prevalence of a number of types of self-reported anti-social behaviour in the ID sample. Further analyses indicated however, that these between group differences were accounted for by the higher rates of social deprivation and child mental health problems among the ID sample.
Conclusions: Rather than ID per se being associated with increased rates of anti-social behaviour, adolescents with ID may be more likely to experience risk factors (lower socio-economic status and mental health problems) known to be associated with anti-social behaviour. The clinical implications of this and possible future directions for research are discussed.