Objectives: This study examined the traumatic and stressful event exposure history and psychiatric health characteristics of soon-to-be released female inmates who self-referred to specialty post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. Methods: The final sample (N=209) included female prison inmates aged 18 or older who were assessed for trauma exposure and axis I disorders with standardized clinical instruments. Results: The rate of serious mental disorders was high. Presence of psychiatric disorders was significantly associated with a history of traumatic event exposure and full or subthreshold PTSD, and high rates of overall traumatic event exposure (88%) and childhood sexual or physical trauma (74%). Descriptive profiles of specific lifetime traumatic and stressful events were associated with psychiatric disorders. Conclusions: Findings suggest strong behavioral effects associated with lifetime traumatic and stressful event histories and indicate major psychiatric health care needs among female prison inmates that are likely unmet by existing services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health