Predicting Substance Use and Related Antisocial Behavior with Psychiatric, Socioeconomic and Brain Measures in Women Offenders

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Bethany Edwards

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Amount Awarded:

Period of Performance:
08/2019 - 08/2021

Goals and Aims of Study

Although men commit more crime and are incarcerated at higher rates than women, women represent one of the fastest growing segments of the criminal justice system. Moreover, over the past few decades, women have been sentenced to prison for substance-related reasons at alarming rates. Utilizing a large sample of adult women offenders, this study aims to investigate the utility of psychiatric, socioeconomic, and brain data in predicting substance use and substance-related antisocial behavior following release from prison.

How this Research Will Benefit Society

Substance use places an enormous burden on our nation’s health care and criminal justice systems. More specifically, women offenders are often impacted by substance use with co-morbid psychopathology, placing great demands on health care and justice systems with respect to substance use and mental health treatment. As such, testing factors that may aid in the prediction of substance-related antisocial behavior in women has the potential to be far-reaching by informing development of targeted treatments, including those that help to account for sex differences and co-morbid conditions related to substance use.