Characteristics associated with a history of physical and sexual abuse in a community corrections sample
C. Brendan Clark, Sarah A. Reiland, Jacob D. Armstrong, Ryley Ewy & Karen L. Cropsey (2019) Characteristics Associated with a History of Physical and Sexual Abuse in a Community Corrections Sample, Substance Use & Misuse
Background: Most predictors of future criminal justice involvement are gender neutral. However, recent research has stressed the importance of physical and sexual abuse as a precursor of incarceration for women. Purpose: The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of a history of physical and sexual abuse on mental health, substance use, and criminal justice history for men and women under community corrections supervision. Methods: A sample of 613 (203 women and 410 men) participants completed structured clinical interviews and questionnaires assessing demographics, mental health and abuse history (physical vs. sexual), substance use, and criminal justice involvement. Results: Results of multivariate analyses indicated that for men, physical abuse was linked to White race, a higher number of arrests, history of a person offense, family problems, and suicidality; while sexual abuse was linked to White race, family problems, suicidality, and antisocial personality disorder. For women, physical abuse was only associated with meeting criteria for an anxiety or depressive disorder; while sexual abuse was linked to reporting a history of a substance offense, meeting criteria for an anxiety or depressive disorder, and increased suicidality. Substance use was not associated with any form of abuse in either gender. Conclusions: In general, abuse was associated with worse mental health and more severe criminal justice involvement. Women reported much greater rates of abuse and our results provide some support for the idea that a history of abuse may be an important precursor to criminal justice involvement for individuals under community corrections supervision.