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July 1991

Criminality and Childhood Hyperactivity-Reply

Author Affiliations

Children's Behavior Disorders Clinic Long Island Jewish Medical Center New Hyde Park, NY 11042 Department of Clinical Psychology New York State Psychiatric Institute New York, NY 10032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(7):667-668. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810310085017

In Reply.—  Dr Menuck raises these three issues:1. After citing results from our study, he concludes, "it seems clear that antisocial personality and not hyperactivity (either transient or lasting) predicts criminality." This statement is not entirely accurate. More correctly, antisocial personality in young adulthood, and not the persistence of attention deficit disorder, was associated with criminality. As Dr Menuck later notes, "those who were both hyperactive and conductdisordered in childhood were not arrested more often than those who were only hyperactive and not conduct-disordered as children." It follows that childhood ("transient") hyperactivity was a relevant factor.Dr Menuck also asks about intervening processes that mediate the relationship between childhood hyperactivity, antisocial disorders, and criminality. The relationship between arrest history and having an antisocial disorder at follow-up did not differ for probands and controls. In both groups, two thirds of those given the diagnosis had been arrested. Consequently, the (group x

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