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ADHD, Financial Distress, and Suicide in Adulthood: A Population Study


  • Beauchaine, Theodore P.

    (Ohio State U)

  • Ben-David, Itzhak

    (Ohio State U)

  • Bos, Marieke

    (Swedish House of Finance, Stockholm School of Economics)


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exerts lifelong impairment, including difficulty sustaining employment, poor credit, and suicide risk. To date, however, studies have assessed selected samples, often via self-report. Using mental health data from the entire Swedish population (N=11.55 million) and a random sample of credit data (N=189,267), we provide the first study of objective financial outcomes among adults with ADHD, including associations with suicide. Controlling for psychiatric comorbidities, substance use, education, and income, those with ADHD start adulthood with normal credit demand and default rates. However, in middle age, their default rates grow exponentially, yielding poor credit scores and diminished credit access despite high demand. Sympathomimetic prescriptions are unassociated with improved financial behaviors. Last, financial distress is associated with fourfold higher risk of suicide among those with ADHD. For men but not women with ADHD who suicide, outstanding debt increases in the 3 years prior. No such pattern exists for others who suicide.

Suggested Citation

  • Beauchaine, Theodore P. & Ben-David, Itzhak & Bos, Marieke, 2020. "ADHD, Financial Distress, and Suicide in Adulthood: A Population Study," Working Paper Series 2020-25, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2020-25

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    Cited by:

    1. Janneke Koerts & Dorien F. Bangma & Christian Mette & Lara Tucha & Oliver Tucha, 2023. "Strengths and Weaknesses of Everyday Financial Knowledge and Judgment Skills of Adults with ADHD," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(5), pages 1-15, March.
    2. Andreas Jangmo & Ralf Kuja-Halkola & Ana Pérez-Vigil & Catarina Almqvist & Cynthia M Bulik & Brian D’Onofrio & Paul Lichtenstein & Ewa Ahnemark & Tamara Werner-Kiechle & Henrik Larsson, 2021. "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and occupational outcomes: The role of educational attainment, comorbid developmental disorders, and intellectual disability," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-16, March.
    3. Nana Guo & Janneke Koerts & Lara Tucha & Isabel Fetter & Christina Biela & Miriam König & Magdalena Bossert & Carsten Diener & Steffen Aschenbrenner & Matthias Weisbrod & Oliver Tucha & Anselm B. M. F, 2022. "Stability of Attention Performance of Adults with ADHD over Time: Evidence from Repeated Neuropsychological Assessments in One-Month Intervals," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(22), pages 1-14, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G4 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance
    • G41 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets
    • G5 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance
    • G51 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - Household Savings, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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