skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 200624 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Addiction, Abuse, and Family Relationships: Childhood Experiences of Five Incarcerated African American Women
Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse  Volume:1  Issue:4  Dated:2002  Pages:29-47
Author(s): Henia D. Johnson Ph.D.; Diane S. Young Ph.D.
Editor(s): Peter L. Myers Ph.D.
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: T32 DA 07267
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes five incarcerated African-American women’s childhood experiences with addiction and abuse, which they believe to be related to their involvement in the criminal justice system.
Abstract: To understand criminal offending among women requires an exploration of the developmental, relational, and environmental contexts of their lives. Understanding and learning from their experiences aids in creating more effective prevention services for at-risk girls, as well as better intervention strategies for incarcerated and addicted women. This paper describes the childhood experiences of five imprisoned African-American women who have extensive histories of drug addiction and criminal behavior. Their childhood experiences are explored with critical attention to the themes of alcohol and drug use, sexual abuse, and mother-daughter relationships. The five interviews evolved from a larger study on criminal behavior, drug addiction, and recurrent imprisonment. All five women experienced sexual abuse as children. The findings indicate that the women’s use of alcohol and drugs typically evolved from a context of family environments where alcohol and drug use were deeply embedded in the early socialization process. Intrafamilial violence was common in these families where the use of alcohol and drugs had become normalized. Their shared experiences were marked by an absence of mutually empathic relationships throughout childhood and adolescence. Early intervention and prevention strategies for young African-American girls are needed in the form of positive relationships. References
Main Term(s): Female inmates
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Child abuse; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Drug abuse; Drug dependence; Drug use; Environmental influences; Family histories; Family structure; Female offenders; Female victims; Home environment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.