Previous research has documented many behavioral problems associated with being a female victim of sexual assault, but little attention has been devoted to whether this experience might be related to premature mortalities. We investigated this utilizing the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health survey, collected from over 10,000 adolescent females in 1995, whose premature deaths (n = 65) were noted in 2007 in National Death Index records. Significant associations were found between females with a substance misuse history and their premature deaths, but not with being a sexual assault victim. The subset of respondents (n = 208) evincing both these characteristics showed significantly higher risks of dying prematurely, as did those females with early histories of drug misuse alone. Yet, adolescent females with histories of drug misuse who also attempted suicide (n = 214) did not show similar elevated risks of dying prematurely compared to others without these experiences. This exploratory evidence points to an affinity between both being a female sexual assault victim and having an early history of misusing drugs, putting such people at heightened risks for dying prematurely, suggesting the potential benefits of counseling and supportive services for those so affected.
|Journal||Journal of Psychoactive Drugs|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2023|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research uses data from Add Health a program project directed by Kathleen Mullen Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman and Kathleen Mullen Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is funded by Grant PO1 HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. No direct support was received from Grant Number PO1 HD31921 for this analysis.
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- female sexual assault victim
- Premature death
- substance misuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychology (all)