Background: The effects of incarceration on future substance use is well documented in the extant literature. Nevertheless, scholars have yet to examine the within-individual correspondence between the change in months incarcerated over time and the change in substance use over time. Aim: Considering this gap in the literature, the purpose of the current study is to evaluate whether within-individual changes in months incarcerated is associated with subsequent within-individual changes in substance use. Method: The current study examines the influence of the change in the number months incarcerated (2004–2009) on alcohol, cigarette, marijuana, and hard drug use (2005–2010) using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). The within-individual effects were estimated using four lagged latent growth models. Result: The results demonstrated that within-individual change in the months spent incarcerated influenced the change in the likelihood of substance use over time. Within-individual increases in the number of months an individual spent incarcerated over time (2004–2009) was associated with within-individual decreases in the frequency of cigarette and marijuana use, but within-individual increases in the likelihood of hard drug use from 2005 to 2010. Conclusion: These findings suggest that contemporary treatment modalities might not be effective for individuals with a history of using hard drugs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)