Relationship Influence and Health Risk Behavior Among Re-Entering Women Offenders

Michele Staton-Tindall, Linda Frisman, Hsui Ju Lin, Carl Leukefeld, Carrie Oser, Jennifer R. Havens, Michael Prendergast, Hilary L. Surratt, Jennifer Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have shown that relationships can influence health risk behaviors such as drug use among women offenders. This study takes an exploratory look at the positive and negative influences of parents, peers, and partners for women prisoners to better understand their health risk behavior for HIV, including risky sex and drug use. Methods: The current study includes secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from women offenders enrolled in three protocols of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies cooperative agreement. Baseline interviews were completed with incarcerated women preparing for community re-entry and focused on behaviors during the 6 months before incarceration. Relationship influences during the 6 months before prison were categorized as " positive" or " negative" for the women offenders. Findings: Multivariate regression models suggested that positive parental influence was significantly associated with reduced HIV risk and reduced drug use in the 6 months before incarceration. However, negative peer influence increased drug use including both risky needle behavior and any drug use in the 6 months before incarceration. Conclusion: These data suggest that, although relationships are generally important to women, particular types of relationship influences may be related to risky behavior. Implications for targeting re-entry interventions for women offenders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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