ADHD as a Risk Factor For Being Involved in Intimate Partner Violence
October 12, 2023   

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects ~3% of adults and often involves impairing inattention and/or impulsivity that can have negative consequences to conflict management and personal relationships. Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to physical, sexual, or psychological violence within a romantic relationship while sexual violence (SV; which can be part of IPV) refers to a sexual act that is attempted or committed without consent of the victim. Both men and women can be victims of IPV and SV; however, prevalence rates indicate that men are more often the perpetrators while women are more often the victims of these types of violence.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 14 studies including over 1 million individuals, Arrondo and colleagues investigated the relationships between ADHD and violence. The authors found that individuals with ADHD are more likely to be involved in both IPV and SV (as either perpetrator or victim …or perhaps both!) compared to individuals without ADHD. The authors suggest some possible reasons for these correlations:

  • Emotional dysregulation combined with hyperactivity and impulsivity may contribute to perpetrating IPV and SV
  • Inattentiveness may put individuals with ADHD at risk of being a victim of IPV and SV
  • Mediating factors (such as alcohol or drug use) that are common in ADHD may contribute to being a perpetrator or victim of IPV and SV

More research into this connection between ADHD and IPV/SV is needed; however, the results of this study support providing psychoeducation for individuals with ADHD and their loved ones in order to improve relationships and avoid violence.


Arrondo G et al. Psychol Med 2023; Epub ahead of print. Abstract

Additional information and resources:


Encore Presentation
Escalating Events: Intimate Partner Violence
CME/CE Credit: 0.50   |  Expires: November 8, 2023


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Stahl's Essential Videos
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