Morbidity and mortality risk among the "forgotten few": Why are girls in the justice system in such poor health?

Candice L. Odgers, Summer J. Robins, Michael A. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study assessed the physical health of a population of girls sentenced to custody in a large US State via medical examinations and clinical assessments in adolescence and young adulthood. Findings indicated that injuries, obesity, and sexually transmitted diseases were the norm, with over 50% of the population meeting criteria for each of these health problems. A dose-response relationship was documented between childhood victimization and injuries and injury risk in adolescence and self-harm, HIV risk, physical health symptoms, and hospitalizations in young adulthood. The relationship between childhood victimization and poor adult physical health was fully mediated by health-risk behaviors in adolescence. Clinical and policy implications of the high mortality and morbidity risk among female juvenile offenders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-444
Number of pages16
JournalLaw and human behavior
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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