A history of drug use and childhood sexual abuse among incarcerated males in a county jail

Regina J. Johnson, Michael W. Ross, Wendell C. Taylor, Mark L. Williams, Raul I. Carvajal, Ronald J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study explored the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and drug use among incarcerated males. A retrospective, self-reported survey was administered over an 8-week period (September and October 2001) to a random sample of 100 men who were incarcerated in a county jail. The survey included questions about childhood sexual experiences before and after puberty, drug history and use, and sexual risk-taking behaviors. Overall, 59% of this sample of male inmates reported some form of childhood sexual abuse, and all such instances occurred before or at the age of 13. Statistically significant relationships were found between drug use and childhood sexual abuse, with those who experienced childhood sexual abuse reporting drug use at percentages as much as 30% higher than those denying histories of childhood sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-229
Number of pages19
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Wendell Taylor is a tenured Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research. Also, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Education and Graduate Studies at the University of Houston, and Associate Professor in the Communications Department at Texas Southern University. He received his A.B. from Grinnell College, his M.S. in Psychology from Eastern Washington University, his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and his M.P.H. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. In addition, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Health Promotion and Health Education at the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, University of Texas. Dr. Taylor has received outstanding faculty awards for research and scholarship. He has been the principal investigator of grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Cancer Institute, American Heart Association, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Currently, he serves on the American Cancer Society’s Psychosocial, Behavioral, and Policy Research Committee, National Advisory Committee for Active Living Policy and Environmental Studies, and Medical and Research Advisory Committee for The Council on Alcohol and Drugs-Houston. His research interests include health promotion in adolescents, physical activity determinants and interventions, and health behaviors in underserved communities. Dr. Taylor has authored and coauthored book chapters and scientific publications in scholarly journals. Dr. Taylor coedited a book published by the American Psychological Association, Division of Health Psychology entitled, Health-Promoting and Health-Compromising Behaviors Among Minority Adolescents.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adult survivors
  • Child maltreatment
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Incarcerated males
  • Recreational drug use
  • Sexually abused males
  • Victimization

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