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The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

On-line version ISSN 1989-4007Print version ISSN 1889-1861


ROMERO-MARTINEZ, Ángel et al. The interaction between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and neuropsychological deficits for explaining dropout and recidivism of intimate partner violence perpetrators. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context [online]. 2023, vol.15, n.1, pp.33-42.  Epub June 26, 2023. ISSN 1989-4007.


Even though previous research has identified the negative impact of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, less is known regarding the moderator factors that explain this association. In this study, we first aimed to assess whether there would be differences in terms of specific neuropsychological variables (e.g., IQ, working memory, executive functioning, and emotion decoding) between different groups of IPV perpetrators, affected or not by ADHD, and also compared with non-violent men (without ADHD). Second, we evaluated differences in dropout and recidivism among the subgroups of IPV perpetrators. Third, we assessed whether ADHD interacts with neuropsychological functioning to explain treatment compliance (dropout) and official recidivism among IPV perpetrators.


We administered a set of neuropsychological tests and self-reports to a group of IPV perpetrators with ADHD (n = 161), without ADHD (n = 163), and non-violent men (n = 103). Data on IPV perpetrators' treatment compliance and official recidivism were collected after treatment.


Our results indicated that all the groups of IPV perpetrators presented worse performance in all cognitive domains than controls. Furthermore, ADHD IPV perpetrators also showed worse performance in all cognitive domains than IPV perpetrators without ADHD, except for emotion decoding abilities. Most importantly, the combined subtype of ADHD IPV perpetrators presented the highest rate of dropout and official recidivism. Lastly, ADHD diagnosis and neuropsychological impairments separately offered a considerable explanation of treatment compliance and recidivism but their combination did not increase the amount of explained variance.


Our study highlights the need to implement good screening processes for correctly diagnosing IPV perpetrators and, consequently, designing more effective intervention programs.

Keywords : ADHD; Dropout; Intimate partner violence perpetrators; Neuropsychology; Recidivism.

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