Vol. 8, No. 2, 2002 Page 1


Past issues of Crime Times have covered research on many disorders that can lead to crime and violence: learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, psychopathy, and more. In this issue, we focus specifically on learning disabilities, ADD, and ADHD.

Clearly, a person with one or more of these disorders is not predestined to become a criminal or commit acts of violence. However, it is equally clear from the research that children and adults with these disorders are at elevated risk of brain malfunctions that can lead to dyslogic, lack of insight and foresight, lack of fear and remorse, impulsivity, poor abstract thinking and social skills, low anger threshold, an inability to realize the consequences of actions or to learn from experience, and a lack of empathy for animals and people.

Research is desperately needed into the etiology, treatment, and prevention of brain malfunctions that cause learning disabilities and ADHD. Only a minority of individuals with learning disabilities or ADHD become delinquents or criminals. But it is a substantial minority—and for their sake and ours, we need to understand why.

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