Social problem solving, anxiety and depression in adult male prisoners
McMurran, M. and Christopher, G. (2009) Social problem solving, anxiety and depression in adult male prisoners. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 14 (1). pp. 101-107. ISSN 1355-3259
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/135532507X267031
Objectives. Social problem-solving ability has been identified as a significant mediator between stressful life-events and psychological distress in community samples. This study examined the relationships between social problem solving, anxiety, and depression in adult male prisoners. The hypothesis was that a negative problem orientation (NPO) would be the strongest predictor of anxiety and depression. Methods. Participants (N=68) completed the Social Problem-Solving Inventory– Revised: Short Version (SPSI-R:S) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results. NPO was found to be the sole predictor of anxiety and depression. Conclusion. NPO includes feelings of nervousness, threat, and fear in response to problems. In a prison setting, this may serve to protect the individual against conflict with and abuse by dominant others. However, high levels of fear and anxiety may be disabling both for coping with imprisonment and for effective participation in rehabilitation programmes. While this raises issues regarding prison cultures and the damage imprisonment may cause to individuals, it also indicates that interventions to assist some prisoners to cope are required.