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Table 2 Studies of prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in suspected and delinquent populations

From: Autism in adult and juvenile delinquents: a literature review

  Results Setting Diagnosis and classification system Type of instrument used to diagnose autism Age in years Control group Conclusion
Scragg and Shah [43] ASD prevalence: 2.3% in 392 patients held in Broadmoor secure hospital Secure hospital Asperger’s syndrome Gillberg and Gillberg criteria Examination, Screening Schedule for Autistic Behavior and interview Not reported None Prevalence of Asperger’s syndrome in Broadmoor Hospital higher than reported for general population
Anckarsäter et al. [35] ASD prevalence = 13% in 3 Swedish cohorts (n = 100, n = 100, n = 130) Special hospital for forensic psychiatry, violent or sexual offenders who were undergoing pre-trial investigation at department of forensic psychiatry and institutions of maladapted youths Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and atypical autism Gillberg and Gillberg criteria and DSM-IV Clinical examinations, SCID-I, ASDI, ASSQ Group 1: M = 27; group 2: M = 25.5; group 3: M = 15 None ASD a clinically relevant problem among forensic populations
Enayati et al. [45] Prevalence of Asperger’s syndrome: 7.1% in 214 arsonists; 2.5% in 2395 other violent offenders Convicted offenders Asperger’s syndrome DSM-IV None; Forensic psychiatric investigations M = 34.4 2395 other violent offenders Male arsonists compared with other violent offenders more often diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome
Geluk et al. [44] Incidence rate ratio 1.29; (total symptom score) in 308 first-time child arrestees Childhood arrestees by the police Autistic symptoms conform DSM-IV-TR Children’s Social Behavior Questionnaire M = 10.7 840 matched controls Autistic symptoms predict future delinquent behavior in childhood arrestees
‘t Hart-Kerkhoff et al. [18] Higher level of ASD symptoms in 175 suspected juvenile sex offenders compared with matched controls Juvenile suspected sex offenders ASD symptoms conform DSM-IV-TR Children’s Social Behavior Questionnaire Offenders: M = 14.9; ASD: M = 14.2 500 matched healthy controls, M age 14.0 years Level of ASD symptoms higher in juvenile sex offenders, especially solo offenders and child molesters, than in group offenders
Kumagami and Matsuura [46] In 428 family court juvenile cases a pervasive developmental disorder prevalence of 3.2–18.2% Family court juvenile cases Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) DSM-IV Diagnosing and subtyping of PDD and type of crime by interview and school and court records M = 17 None In PDD group significantly higher rate of sex-related crimes than in other juveniles referred to family courts
Siponmaa et al. [7] ASD prevalence: 15% in young offenders referred for forensic psychiatric investigation   Pervasive developmental disorder and Asperger’s syndrome ICD-10, DSM-IV, Gillberg and Gillberg criteria Semi-structured psychiatric interview and psychiatric state examination Range 15–22 None High prevalence of ASD in young offenders referred for forensic psychiatric investigation