Coping with imprisonment: exploring bullying, safety and social support within prison settings

Hampton, Elspeth (2012). Coping with imprisonment: exploring bullying, safety and social support within prison settings. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis examines prisoners’ experiences of imprisonment. Initially, some of the challenges that prisoners face during imprisonment are considered, of which bullying represents a prominent feature. A systematic review of literature exploring bullying within prisons is presented, with emphasis on the nature and prevalence of bullying and the characteristics of those involved. High rates of bullying within prisons are reported, with prisoners tending to have experience in both perpetration and victimisation. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; Snaith & Zigmond, 1994) is suggested as a useful tool for measuring psychological wellbeing within prisoners. The measure is investigated in terms of its reliability and validity. Finally, an empirical research study exploring the influence of perceived safety and social support on the psychological wellbeing of prisoners in open conditions is described. The study employed a mixed-method design, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Results revealed relatively low levels of anxiety and depression among prisoners with high levels of perceived safety. There were some significant differences in social support according to levels of anxiety and depression but prisoners’ concerns about trust and fear of being moved back to closed conditions limited the degree to which they sought support from relationships within prison.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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