Morbidity and mortality risk among the "forgotten few": why are girls in the justice system in such poor health?


Journal Article

The present study assessed the physical health of a population of girls sentenced to custody in a large US State via medical examinations and clinical assessments in adolescence and young adulthood. Findings indicated that injuries, obesity, and sexually transmitted diseases were the norm, with over 50% of the population meeting criteria for each of these health problems. A dose-response relationship was documented between childhood victimization and injuries and injury risk in adolescence and self-harm, HIV risk, physical health symptoms, and hospitalizations in young adulthood. The relationship between childhood victimization and poor adult physical health was fully mediated by health-risk behaviors in adolescence. Clinical and policy implications of the high mortality and morbidity risk among female juvenile offenders are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Odgers, CL; Robins, SJ; Russell, MA

Published Date

  • December 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 429 - 444

PubMed ID

  • 19847634

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19847634

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-661X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0147-7307

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10979-009-9199-3


  • eng