Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 717–728 | Cite as

Adolescent Criminal Justice Involvement and Adulthood Sexually Transmitted Infection in a Nationally Representative US Sample

  • Maria R. KhanEmail author
  • David L. Rosen
  • Matthew W. Epperson
  • Asha Goldweber
  • Jordana L. Hemberg
  • Joseph Richardson
  • Typhanye Penniman Dyer


Criminal justice involvement (CJI) disrupts social and sexual networks, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) thrive on network disruption. Adolescent CJI may be a particularly important determinant of STI because experiences during adolescence influence risk trajectories into adulthood. We used Wave III (2001–2002: young adulthood) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 14,322) to estimate associations between history of adolescent (younger than 18 years) CJI and adult STI risk. Respondents who reported a history of repeat arrest in adolescence, adolescent conviction, and arrest both as an adolescent and an adult (persistent arrest) had between two to seven times the odds of STI (biologically confirmed infection with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis) in adulthood and between two to three times the odds of multiple partnerships and inconsistent condom use in the past year in adulthood. In analyses adjusting for sociodemographic and behavioral factors, history of having six or more adolescent arrests was associated with more than five times the odds of STI (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 5.44, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.74–17.1). Both adolescent conviction and persistent CJI appeared to remain independent correlates of STI (conviction: AOR 1.90, 95 % CI 1.02–3.55; persistent CJI: AOR 1.60, 95 % CI 0.99–2.57). Adolescents who have repeat arrests, juvenile convictions, and persist as offenders into adulthood constitute priority populations for STI treatment and prevention. The disruptive effect of adolescent CJI may contribute to a trajectory associated with STI in adulthood.


Criminal justice involvement Sexually transmitted infection Sexual risk behavior Adolescence National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health 



This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant Longitudinal Study of Substance Use, Incarceration, and STI in the US (Maria R. Khan, PI, R03 DA026735). This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies.


  1. 1.
    CDC. STD Health Equity. 2011. Accessed February 28, 2011.
  2. 2.
    Morris M, Handcock MS, Miller WC, et al. Prevalence of HIV infection among young adults in the United States: results from the Add Health study. Am J Public Health. 2006; 96: 1091–1097.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Canterbury RJ, McGarvey EL, Sheldon-Keller AE, et al. Prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors and STDs among incarcerated adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 1995; 17: 173–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pack RP, Diclemente RJ, Hook EW 3rd, et al. High prevalence of asymptomatic STDs in incarcerated minority male youth: a case for screening. Sex Transm Dis. 2000; 27: 175–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kahn RH, Mosure DJ, Blank S, et al. Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae prevalence and coinfection in adolescents entering selected US juvenile detention centers, 1997-2002. Sex Transm Dis. 2005; 32: 255–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Robertson AA, Thomas CB, St Lawrence JS, et al. Predictors of infection with Chlamydia or Gonorrhea in incarcerated adolescents. Sex Transm Dis. 2005; 32: 115–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bauer HM, Chartier M, Kessell E, et al. Chlamydia screening of youth and young adults in non-clinical settings throughout California. Sex Transm Dis. 2004; 31: 409–414.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mrus JM, Biro FM, Huang B, et al. Evaluating adolescents in juvenile detention facilities for urogenital chlamydial infection: costs and effectiveness of alternative interventions. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003; 157: 696–702.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mertz KJ, Voigt RA, Hutchins K, et al. Findings from STD screening of adolescents and adults entering corrections facilities: implications for STD control strategies. Sex Transm Dis. 2002; 29: 834–839.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Risser JM, Risser WL, Gefter LR, et al. Implementation of a screening program for chlamydial infection in incarcerated adolescents. Sex Transm Dis. 2001; 28: 43–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    CDC. Trends in Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States: 2009 National Data for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2009.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Romero EG, Teplin LA, McClelland GM, et al. A longitudinal study of the prevalence, development, and persistence of HIV/sexually transmitted infection risk behaviors in delinquent youth: implications for health care in the community. Pediatrics. 2007; 119: e1126–e1141.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Criminal Neglect: Substance Abuse, Juvenile Justice and the Children Left Behind. New York: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University; 2004.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lucenko BA, Malow RM, Sanchez-Martinez M, et al. Negative affect and HIV risk in alcohol and other drug (AOD) abusing adolescent offenders. J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse. 2003; 13: 1–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Valera P, Epperson M, Daniels J, et al. Substance use and HIV-risk behaviors among young men involved in the criminal justice system. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2009; 35: 43–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kingree JB, Braithwaite R, Woodring T. Unprotected sex as a function of alcohol and marijuana use among adolescent detainees. J Adolesc Health. 2000; 27: 179–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Odgers CL, Robins SJ, Russell MA. Morbidity and mortality risk among the forgotten few: why are girls in the justice system in such poor health? Law and Human Behavior. 2010; 34: 429–444.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Paschall MJ, Fishbein DH. Executive cognitive functioning and aggression: a public health perspective. Aggression and Violent Behavior. 2002; 7: 215–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Shader M. Risk Factors for Delinquency: an Overview. Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Reference Service, US Department of Justice; 2004.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hoff RA, Beam-Goulet J, Rosenheck RA. Mental disorder as a risk factor for human immunodeficiency virus infection in a sample of veterans. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1997; 185: 556–560.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Aalsma MC, Tong Y, Wiehe SE, et al. The impact of delinquency on young adult sexual risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections. J Adolesc Health. 2010; 46: 17–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shepherd J, Farrington D. The impact of antisocial lifestyle on health. BMJ. 2003; 326: 834–835.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shepherd J, Farrington D, Potts J. Impact of antisocial lifestyle on health. J Public Health (Oxf). 2004; 26: 347–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shepherd J, Farrington D, Potts J. Relations between offending, injury and illness. J R Soc Med. 2002; 95: 539–544.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Odgers CL, Caspi A, Broadbent JM, et al. Prediction of differential adult health burden by conduct problem subtypes in males. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007; 64: 476–484.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Farrington DP. Crime and physical health: illnesses, injuries, accidents and offending in the Cambridge Study. Crim Behav Ment Health. 1995; 5: 261–278.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Khan MR, Wohl DA, Weir SS, et al. Incarceration and risky sexual partnerships in a southern US city. J Urban Health. 2008; 85: 100–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Khan MR, Miller WC, Schoenbach VJ, et al. Timing and duration of incarceration and high-risk sexual partnerships among African Americans in North Carolina. Ann Epidemiol. 2008; 18: 403–410.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Epperson MW, Khan MR, El-Bassel N, et al. A longitudinal study of incarceration and HIV risk among methadone maintained men and their primary female partners. AIDS Behav. 2012;15:347–55.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Epperson M, El-Bassel N, Gilbert L, et al. Increased HIV risk associated with criminal justice involvement among men on methadone. AIDS Behav. 2008; 12: 51–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Epperson MW, El-Bassel N, Gilbert L, et al. Examining the temporal relationship between criminal justice involvement and sexual risk behaviors among drug-involved men. Journal of Urban Health. 2010; 87: 324–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Khan MR, Doherty IA, Schoenbach VJ, et al. Incarceration and high-risk sex partnerships among men in the United States. J Urban Health. 2009; 86: 584–601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Comfort M, Grinstead O, McCartney K, et al. “You can’t do nothing in this damn place”: sex and intimacy among couples with an incarcerated male partner. The Journal of Sex Research. 2005; 42: 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lowenstein A. Coping with stress: the case of prisoner’s wives. Journal of Marriage and the Family. 1984; 46: 699–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Browning S, Miller S, Lisa M. Criminal incarceration dividing the ties that bind: Black men and their families. Journal of African American Men. 2001; 6: 87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rindfuss R, Stephen EH. Marital noncohabitation: separation does not make the heart grow fonder. Journal of Marriage and the Family. 1990; 52: 259–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Schneller D. Prisoner's families: a study of some social and psychological effects of incarceration on the families of Negro prisoners. Criminology. 1975; 12: 402–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bearman PS, Jones J, Udry JR. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Carolina Population Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 1997. http://wwwcpcuncedu/projects/addhealth. Accessed March16, 2007.
  39. 39.
    Udry JR. References, Instruments, and Questionnaires Consulted in the Development of the Add Health In-home Adolescent Interview. Carolina Population Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 1991. http://wwwcpcuncedu/projects/addhealth/files/referpdf. Accessed March16, 2007.
  40. 40.
    Resnick MD, Bearman PS, Blum RW, et al. Protecting adolescents from harm. Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Jama. 1997; 278: 823–832.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Chantala K, Tabor J. Strategies to Perform a Design-Based Analysis Using the Add Health Data. Carolina Population Center. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 1999. http://wwwcpcuncedu/projects/addhealth/files/weight1pdf. Accessed March16, 2007.
  42. 42.
    Sieving RE, Beuhring T, Resnick MD, et al. Development of adolescent self-report measures from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. J Adolesc Health. 2001; 28: 73–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Cohen M, Feng Q, Ford CA, et al. Biomarkers in Wave III of the Add Health Study. Carolina Population Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 2003. http://wwwcpcuncedu/projects/addhealth/files/biomarkpdf. Accessed March16, 2007.
  44. 44.
    Maldonado G, Greenland S. Simulation study of confounder-selection strategies. Am J Epidemiol. 1993; 138: 923–936.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Khan MR, Epperson MW, Mateu-Gelabert P, et al. Incarceration, sex with an STI- or HIV-infected partner, and infection with an STI or HIV in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY: a social network perspective. Am J Public Health. 2011; 101: 1110–1117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria R. Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Rosen
    • 2
  • Matthew W. Epperson
    • 3
  • Asha Goldweber
    • 4
  • Jordana L. Hemberg
    • 5
  • Joseph Richardson
    • 6
  • Typhanye Penniman Dyer
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services ResearchUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.School of Social Service AdministrationUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of Behavioral and Community HealthUniversity of Maryland School of Public HealthCollege ParkUSA
  6. 6.Department of African American StudiesUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  7. 7.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations