The present study aimed to (a) examine the role of Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and Conduct disorder (CD) in predicting recidivism, while controlling for childhood arrest, perceived neighbourhood crime frequency, alcohol consumption, age and gender, and (b) explore the relevance of these factors in predicting risk of recidivism for males and females separately. Participants were 669 ex-prisoners identified in the National Survey of American Life. Results revealed that gender, CD and average daily alcohol consumption predicted recidivism. When separate models were estimated for males and females, only average daily alcohol consumption was predictive of female recidivism. By comparison, recidivism was significantly predicted in males by CD in youth and childhood arrest. ODD was also negatively associated with recidivism in males. Consequently, targeting variables identified as significant predictors of recidivism for both males and females, or males, is unlikely to be an optimal way of reducing repeat offending.