An investigation of the presence of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder behaviors in a population of court mandated domestic violence perpetrators Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zh05b

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  • Sixty-five male volunteers from a court mandated domestic violence treatment program were administered a questionnaire to assess for the presence of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors. The questionnaire included copies of the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS) and the Attention Deficit Scales for Adults (ADSA), as well as demographic information and diagnostic questions assessing previous professional diagnoses. Results indicated that 93.8% met or surpassed Wender's suggested cutoff score of 36 indicating the presence of ADHD symptoms, and 64.6% met or surpassed the higher suggested cutoff score of 46. Twenty-three percent (15) of the participants met the criteria suggesting the presence of adult ADHD behaviors as measured by the ADSA. A factor analysis of the WURS resulted in participant scores loading on four factors suggesting a combination of ADHD and conduct disorder (CD) behaviors. Results are discussed in light of previous research indicating the WURS' difficulty in clearly discriminating among disruptive behavior disorders. Implications for consideration of adult ADHD as a possible predisposing factor in the perpetration of violence are discussed. Treatment suggestions specifically targeting male DV perpetrators are offered, such as increased use of experiential exercises, minimizing distractions, increasing awareness of potential sensitivity to sound levels, and inclusion of stress reduction techniques. Limitations of this study are discussed in light of instruments utilized, question wording, and study design. Suggestions are made for further research with other DV groups from which results are generalizable to the larger DV perpetrator population.
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