Youth were asked to report the number of days they used the following drugs during the last month before entering the YDC: marijuana, powdered cocaine, crack, inhalants, heroin or opium, LSD, acid, or hallucinogens, speed or uppers, downers or tranquilizers, PCP or angel dust, and ecstasy or other designer drugs.
Response categories for both alcohol and drug use included no use, 1 to 2 days, 3 to 5 days, 6 to 9 days, 10 to 19 days, and 20 to 31 days.
The median educational level of the survey respondents was tenth grade (range=6, SD=1.66877).
Given the mean age for this sample of 16.1 years, these juveniles were approximately one to two grade levels behind their peers.
There are many health-risk behaviors that may elevate the risk of adolescents engaging in teenage dating violence.
Risky sexual behaviors expose youth to HIV/AIDS or other STDs and unplanned teenage pregnancy, creating devastating effects on the health of adolescents (Kotchick, Shaffer, Forehand & Miller, 2001; Staton et al., 1999).
Participants ranged in age from 12 to 20 (M=16.10, SD=1.408).
The racial demographics were 61% African American, 18.2% White, 15.2% other or multi-ethnic, 1% Asian and 5.1% Hispanic.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the health risk behaviors that are associated with a sample of female juvenile offenders to identify the extent to which those behaviors contribute to dating violence.
The survey assessed respondents’ health risk behaviors prior to incarceration, their perceptions of quality of life, post-incarceration expectations, psychosocial factors and other social determinants.
Consequently, this external manifestation of violence is disturbing and is considered by many a public health issue (Halpern, Oslak, Young, Martin & Kupper, 2001; Malik, Sorenson, & Aneshensel, 1997; Wekerle & Wolfe, 1999).