Gender differences in comorbid disorders among offenders in prison substance abuse treatment programs

Brown University, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI 02906, USA.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law (Impact Factor: 0.96). 07/2008; 26(4):403-12. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.831
Source: PubMed


This study examined gender differences in a range of lifetime psychiatric disorders in a sample of 272 offenders newly admitted to a prison substance abuse program. Although these men and women did not differ in severity of substance use in the six months prior to incarceration, women were significantly more likely than men to report a lifetime psychiatric disorder and a lifetime severe disorder. Furthermore, gender differences emerged in the pattern of lifetime psychiatric comorbidity. Women reported greater lifetime major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorder, and borderline personality disorder; men were more likely than women to meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Additionally, female offenders were found to have a higher degree of internalizing disorders than male offenders, but there were no gender differences in degree of externalizing disorders. The study concluded that women offenders newly admitted to a prison substance abuse program present with a greater psychiatric vulnerability and a different pattern of psychiatric comorbidity than their male counterparts.

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    • "al, 2008; Van Wormer, 2010). Interventions originally designed for men have often been used as standard correctional practice for women as well, although the complexity of their needs warrants gender-specific programs (Chen, 2010 Covington, 2008; Zlotnick et al, 2008). Abuse and neglect are prominent in the stories offered by these women compared to those of men (Martin et al, 2009; Chen, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine women's perceptions after participation in a motivational and gender-sensitive program (VINN) and to explore what was experienced as helpful. The qualitative data consisted of reports and transcriptions from 13 group interviews with 65 participants on probation or imprisoned in Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Estonia and Norway. The data were analysed according to systematic text condensation. The participants' perceptions could be grouped into the following clusters: confidence and trust, deeper understanding, change and future hopes. The women appreciated the collaborative atmosphere focusing on quality of life, autonomy, strengths, coping and resources. The most beneficial experiences reported, regardless of country, were that their personal repertoires of actions were expanded during their participation, and their confidence in their ability to desist from crime and substance abuse in the future increased. The results support the program's salutogenic approach combined with motivational interviewing as a bridge to change. Future research should investigate whether the participants report sustainability of the changes.
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    • "For example, large studies (Langan, & Pelissier, 2001; Messina, Burdon, & Prendergast, 2003) have found that compared with men in prison substance use treatment, women in prison substance use treatment used drugs more frequently, used harder drugs, and used them for different reasons (pain alleviation vs. euphoria) than men. Women also confronted more difficulties than men in areas linked to substance abuse such as lower levels of education, poorer vocational skills, higher levels of depression and other co-occurring disorders, more suicidality, and physical problems (Adams, Leukefled, & Peden, 2008; Messina et al., 2003; Messina et al., 2006; Pelissier, Camp, Gaes, Saylor, & Rhodes, 2003; Zlotnick et al., 2008). Women (compared with men) were much more likely to have drug use in family of origin, physical or sexual abuse as a child, a close friend with a drug problem, a spouse with a drug problem, a diagnosis of depression, and to rate their physical health unfavorably (Langan, & Pelissier; Messina et al., 2003; Messina et al., 2006; Pelissier, et al.). "
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    ABSTRACT: Well-controlled, randomized studies of correctional interventions examining gender effects are rare. This study examined gender main effects and gender × treatment interactions in a multisite randomized trial (N = 431) comparing a new form of correctional supervision for drug-involved offenders (collaborative behavioral management [CBM]) to standard parole. Outcomes included repeated measures of yes/no use of primary drug, alcohol use, and recidivism during 9 months postrelease. Generalized estimating equation analyses indicated that despite using harder drugs at baseline, women were less likely than men to use their primary drug and to use alcohol during the follow-up period. No gender-related differences in recidivism were found. Treatment interacted with gender to predict alcohol use, with women in CBM reporting the best alcohol outcomes (only 5% of women used alcohol during the follow-up period). The clear expectations, positive reinforcement, recognition of successes, fairness, and support present in CBM may be particularly important for women parolees.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 04/2011; 40(3):313-21. DOI:10.1016/j.jsat.2010.11.013 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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