Incarcerated women frequently report initiation of substance use and sexual encounters at an early age, and often engage in high-risk drug use and sexual behaviors as adults. This study examined the timing of first sex, drug use, and arrest, as well as their unique influences on specific risky behaviors in adulthood, among a high-risk population of rural women recruited from jails. Ages of initiation were all positively and significantly correlated, and each independently increased the likelihood of several risky behaviors in adulthood. Implications are discussed for screening, intervention, and treatment targeting high-risk women and girls in rural areas, particularly within criminal justice settings.

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Published in Women & Criminal Justice, v. 27, issue 5, p. 287-301.

Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Women & Criminal Justice on 13 Mar 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08974454.2017.1291392.

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Research reported in this article was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award 1R01-DA033866. Funding was also provided by the University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research.