Couture S, Lanctôt N, Parent G, Lemieux S, Lemieux A. (2020). Consequences associated with the use of psychoactive substances among female adolescents placed in residential care: the role of sexual exploitation. Women and Health. 60(9): 1052-1062.
Sexual exploitation is a major burden among female adolescents placed in residential care centers. Moreover, problematic psychoactive substance use is a concern because of its prevalence and various associated consequences. However, little is known about the consequences resulting specifically from the use of psychoactive substances among sexually exploited female adolescents. This study explored the association between sexual exploitation and the various consequences associated with substance use among adolescent female (15.3–17.1 years old) living in Quebec’s residential care centers during 2008–2009. To better understand this association, 83 sexually exploited female adolescents and 66 non-sexually exploited female adolescents responded to self-reported questionnaires. As expected, even controlling for age of onset and frequency of substance use, an ANCOVA showed that sexually exploited female adolescents experience more consequences associated with their use of psychoactive substances (F (4, 148) = 24.79, p <.001, d = 0.83). The associations between sexual exploitation and the consequences of psychoactive substance use were particularly strong for risk-taking (OR = 7.99; p <.001) and delinquency (OR = 4.27; p <.001). Such results highlight the importance of not dissociating the use of psychoactive substances from sexual exploitation when working with female adolescents in rehabilitation centers.