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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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8. The Intersection of Criminality, Substance Use, and Psychopathology in the Prediction of Subsequent Offending

The present study examined the relationship between criminal history, substance use, and psychopathology in predicting future criminal offenses. Participants were 374 patients (63.4% male, 35% female) who were recruited from the greater Tampa Bay area for an ongoing randomized clinical trial in an inpatient addiction treatment facility. At baseline, participants completed both clinical diagnostic interviews and self-report questionnaires regarding their criminal history, current and past DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses (including substance abuse and dependence), and frequency of substance use. After discharge from treatment, participants were followed up at 1, 3, and 6-month intervals to complete additional assessments about their current levels of psychological distress and substance use. To investigate how criminal history, substance use, and psychopathology may lead to specific criminal engagements in the future, a latent interaction model was fit to predict different types of criminal offenses three and six months after individuals completed treatment. Crimes were categorized into violent offenses (e.g., assault, robbery, battery), sex-related offenses (e.g., sexual assault, prostitution), property offenses (e.g., vandalism, burglary, theft), drug offenses (e.g., possession, distribution, DUI), parole or probation violations, and other crimes. Results and implications for understanding the relationship of substance use, psychopathology, and recidivism are discussed.

Alexandria Choate
University of South Florida

Marina Bornovalova
University of South Florida


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