Research suggests that sexual abuse (SA) increases the likelihood of alcohol/drug use (AOD), and that AOD increases criminality. As such, in this study 50 women completed a survey reporting their histories of SA, AOD, and criminality. Fifteen related hypotheses were formulated: age at which drug abuse began would be lower; total number of drugs used, higher; age of first crime, lower; age of first incarceration, lower; and cumulative time in prison, greater, for those with SA vs. those without, for those who did not report their SA vs. those who did, and for those who did not receive treatment for SA vs. those who did. Thirteen of 15 hypotheses trended as predicted, significantly different from chance using Chi square. Trends for those who did not report SA vs. those who did, and for those who did not receive treatment for SA vs. those who did, were universally in line with hypotheses. Hypotheses regarding those with SA vs. those without remain less clear, with three of five outcome measures trending as expected. Together, these findings suggest that it may not be an SA history in itself that predicts earlier and greater severity of AOD, earlier criminal behavior, and greater prison time; but that the lack of treatment for SA and lack of reporting of SA may predict earlier and more severe behavioral disruptions. This underscores the importance of supporting girls and women who experience SA with access to reporting and treatment to reduce the emotional and behavioral sequellae of SA.
Keywords: substance use, sexual abuse, criminality, alcohol use
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|Department:||School of Arts and Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Crime, Criminality, Drug treatment, Drugs / alcohol, Prisoners, Sexual abuse|
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