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Family Influences on Female Offenders’ Substance Use: The Role of Adverse Childhood Events among Incarcerated Women

NCJ Number
240485
Author(s)
Melissa A. Bowles, Dana DeHart, Jennifer Reid Webb
Date Published
October 2012
Length
6 pages
Annotation
This study utilized data from a study of 60 incarcerated women to examine a possible intervening variable in the victimization-crime relationship.
Abstract
Childhood maltreatment, witnessing violence, and growing up with absent, addicted, or mentally ill caregivers influence adult physical and psychological well-being and may play an important role in female offending. This study utilizes data from a study of 60 incarcerated women to examine a possible intervening variable in the victimization-crime relationship. The authors conducted qualitative analyses to examine family influences on substance use among female offenders. Findings indicate that substance use may arise from a need to cope with child victimization and adversity, and that factors such as poor parental supervision may contribute to girls’ substance use. After onset of drug use, many women may turn to further criminal activity to support their habits. Implications for research and intervention are addressed. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.

Date Published: October 1, 2012