Social factors boost wellbeing behind bars: the importance of individual and group ties for prisoner well-being

Kyprianides, Arabella and Easterbrook, Matthew J (2019) Social factors boost wellbeing behind bars: the importance of individual and group ties for prisoner well-being. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. ISSN 1758-0846

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Abstract

Background
Prisoners often suffer from social isolation and higher levels of ill‐health and ill‐being. Research has demonstrated the positive health consequences that stem from social interaction, and especially group ties, amongst non‐offender populations.

Methods
This work is based on a secondary analysis of a large‐scale dataset that includes data on prisoners residing in all prison establishments in the UK (Study 1: N = 11,880; prisons = 113), and on a questionnaire booklet that was completed by prisoners residing in one prison in the UK (Study 2: N = 157).

Results
Study 1 showed that positive prisoner interactions are associated with greater prisoner well‐being, due to the feelings of autonomy that these interactions provide. Study 2 showed that prisoners who reported being members of multiple groups had higher well‐being, an effect mediated by the satisfaction of particular psychological needs; and an effect moderated by group contact discrepancy.

Conclusions
This work provides evidence that strong prisoner ties and memberships in groups are associated with greater well‐being among prisoners, and identifies psychological needs and group contact as explanatory mechanisms; which progresses the field and has important policy and practical implications.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Social interaction; multiple group membership; psychological needs; social contact; wellbeing; prisoners
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 23 May 2019 09:14
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83914

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