ADHD News & Research

Study: ADHD Treatment Associated with Reduced Intimate Partner Violence

Researchers from the Netherlands treated offenders of Intimate Partner Violence who had ADHD with therapy and medication for one year. They found that a significant decrease in self-reported ADHD symptoms corresponded to a similar decrease in violence.

December 5, 2019

A study recently published in the Journal of Attention Disorders found that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) — defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse” — is reduced when offenders with ADHD are treated with medication and therapy.1

Researchers studied 209 IPV offenders with ADHD from the outpatient clinic of De Waag in the Netherlands. IPV was treated with skills training and couples therapy; ADHD was treated with psycho-education and methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, and buprophin. At the 8th, 16th, 24th, and 52nd weeks of combined treatment, the presence of ADHD and IPV symptoms were assessed using the adult Dutch version of the ADHD DSM-IV Rating Scale, the Conflict Tactics Scale 2 (CTS2), and the Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS).

Researchers found that the likelihood of IPV decreased alongside diminishing ADHD symptoms, suggesting that treating ADHD decreases the likelihood of reducing violence and psychological harm. According to the CDC, IPV affects millions of Americans each year and it is preventable.

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1 Buitelaar, N. J. L., Posthumus, J. A., Bijlenga, D., & Buitelaar, J. K. “The Impact of ADHD Treatment on Intimate Partner Violence in a Forensic Psychiatry Setting.” Journal of Attention Disorders. (Oct. 2019).