Qianwei Zhao, Danielle Parrish, Ning He, Maternal Incarceration and Adolescent Girls’ Risk of Substance-Exposed Pregnancy, STIs, and HIV, Children and Youth Services Review, 2023, 106851, ISSN 0190-7409,
Research suggests that adolescents with maternal incarceration experiences are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and have sexual health problems than those without maternal incarceration experiences. However, the sexual health risks of adolescent girls and the role of maternal incarceration on their risks remain unknown.
This study used the FFCW dataset (N = 1,587) to examine the interrelated risks of substance-exposed pregnancy (SEP), STIs, and HIV among adolescent girls with maternal incarceration histories and determine the association between exposure to maternal incarceration and these sexual health risks. Bivariate analyses suggested that compared to their counterparts without maternal incarceration experiences, a significantly higher proportion of adolescent girls with such experiences were at risk of SEP (12.24% vs. 2.79%, χ2 = 13.77, p < .001), STIs (10.45% vs. 3.43%, χ2 = 8.82, p = .003), and HIV (10.45% vs. 4.23%, χ2 = 5.78%, p = .016). Regression analyses revealed that maternal incarceration was associated with significantly higher odds of SEP risk among adolescent girls (OR = 3.94, 95% CI = 1.37 – 11.34, p = .011).
This study suggests the need for sexual health intervention targeting adolescent girls with maternal incarceration histories. Future research on explanatory mechanisms linking maternal incarceration and sexual health risks is necessary to inform services for adolescent girls from extremely fragile families.