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Severe conduct disorder and hyperkinetic conduct disorder in childhood is associated with criminality in later life

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Is there an association between severe mental disorders in childhood and later criminality in adulthood?


541 children aged 13 years or younger who had been psychiatric inpatients at one centre between January 1968 and October 1988. The study aimed to contact all 635 children admitted in this period, but 94 individuals (14.8%) whose hospital records could not be located or were incomplete, who could not be identified in the population register at the Central Bureau of Statistics at follow-up in 2007 or who had died or emigrated before the age of 14 years (the legal age of criminal responsibility at that time) were excluded from the study.


National Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Oslo, Norway; 1968 to 2007.

Prognostic factors

Four potential prognostic factors were assessed for the time of admission: mental health, socio-demographic variables, cognitive abilities and psychosocial functioning (Children's Global Assessment Scale). Based on hospital records, all children were re-diagnosed according to current International Classification of Diseases-10 criteria and principal diagnoses identified and clustered into 10 groups: conduct disorder (n=45), disturbance of activity and attention/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) …

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  • Sources of funding None reported.


  • Competing interests None.

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