Gender differences in crime, drug addiction, abstinence, personality characteristics, and negative emotions

Gila Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The current study examined gender differences in personal and psychological characteristics among drug-abstinent Israeli inmates. The study fo cuses primarily on three personal variables: sense of coherence (SOC), anxiety, and hostility. Additional factors that were examined are demographic variables, which include background, crime, and drug addiction. The sample included 119 inmates (65 males and 54 females) who abstained from drugs use for two different time intervals-up to one year, and more than one year—and did not receive treatment. Overall, males and females shared similar backgrounds except for a higher rate of sexual abuse among female inmates. No gender differences were found in recidivism. These findings show that drug-addicted female inmates injected drugs to a greater extent than males. They also indicated that male inmates remained abstinent for longer periods than female inmates. Additionally, length of abstinence was related to higher SOC, lower trait anxiety, and less hostility among male inmates compared to female inmates. Among female inmates, length of abstinence was related to lower SOC, higher trait anxiety, and no change in hostility. These findings may indicate the need to require separate gender-oriented therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Crime
  • Drug addiction
  • Duration of abstinence
  • Gender differences
  • Inmates


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