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ADHD increases the risk of committing or suffering intimate partner violence, according to a research led by the University.

A review of programs of study including more than one million individuals provides scientific evidence for psychoeducation on relationships and sexuality for people with this disorder, their families and partners.

/University of Navarra researchers Gonzalo Arrondo, Cristina López del Burgo, Sara Magallón and Alfonso Osorio.

07 | 09 | 2023

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be involved in cases of intimate partner violence, either as aggressors or as victims. This is revealed by a study led by researchers from the University of Navarra, in which the University of Southampton (UK) also participates.

The article indicates that, according to agreement with the World Health Organization, 27% of women between 15 and 49 years of age have suffered some subject of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Likewise, it details that 4.4% of the female population and 2.4% of the male population declare having experienced some episode of sexual violence in the previous year, half of the cases within the couple, according to the high school of Health Metrics.

The authors of work have reviewed 8,000 international scientific programs of study and selected 14, covering more than one million individuals. "This evidence for increased risk should be taken into account in psychoeducation for people with ADHD, their families and partners about romantic relationships and sexuality," says researcher of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) Gonzalo Arrondo, lead author. 

3% of adults have ADHD

The specialist points out that this article, published by Cambridge University Press, does not account for the causes or the variables involved in the increase in risk, "but it is a starting point for further research". 

"ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 3% of adults," he reminds. "It is characterized by inattention and/or impulsivity and generalized hyperactivity, which has consequences for the sufferer's health, academic and work performance and the entire environment," he adds. 

In that sense, he points out that one of the difficulties faced by these individuals is the proper management of personal relationships and conflicts: "Their intimate relationships tend to be more complicated and present greater fees of divorce".

Along with Gonzalo Arrondo, Alfonso Osorio, from the ICS; Sara Magallón, from the School of Education and Psychology; Cristina López del Burgo, from the School of Medicine; and Samuele Cortese, from the University of Southampton, signed the study.

The research is part of the challenge ICS 22-23 'Young people, relationships and psychological well-being', an initiative aligned with the University of Navarra's Strategy 2025 'Health and Well-being'. 

reference letterArrondo, G., Osorio, A., Magallón, S., Lopez-del Burgo, C., & Cortese, S. (2023). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a risk factor for being involved in intimate partner violence and sexual violence: A systematic review and goal-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 1-10. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291723001976.