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, 30 (2), 154-66

Prevalence of ADHD and Its Subtypes in Male and Female Adult Prison Inmates


Prevalence of ADHD and Its Subtypes in Male and Female Adult Prison Inmates

Brian S Cahill et al. Behav Sci Law.


There are few published studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adult inmates, and even fewer studies that have considered ADHD in adult inmates by gender. The present study examined the prevalence of ADHD, its subtypes, and associated psychological and neuropsychological comorbidity as a function of gender in a sample of 3,962 inmates (3,439 men and 523 women; mean age = 33.6 years, range 17-73) who had completed the 250-item, self-report, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (Text Revision) (DSM-IV-TR)-aligned Coolidge Correctional Inventory (CCI). The overall ADHD prevalence rate found was 10.5%, which is substantially higher than the rate among adults in the general population (2-5%). The female inmate ADHD prevalence rate (15.1%) was higher than the male inmate ADHD rate (9.8%), consistent with some previous studies. The most prevalent ADHD subtype for both genders was the hyperactive-impulsive subtype. The combined and inattentive ADHD subtypes had higher levels of comorbid psychopathology than the hyperactive-impulsive ADHD subtype. As the presence of ADHD and associated gender differentials may impact the success of rehabilitation and educative programs with inmates, the assessment of ADHD and comorbid psychopathology should be a priority in initial inmate screening and evaluation.

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