| Published: March 25, 2015
Impact of Coping on Mental Health of Convicted Prisoners
Background and Objectives: The coping strategies account for significant variance in psychological distress and psychiatric morbidity among different prisoners despite being in the same environment. Since the coping strategies and the resources available to each person differ, sometimes dramatically, the effect of incarceration will therefore vary and there is no simple formula to predict outcomes. The aim of the present study was to explore the differences in coping strategies of convicts with and without psychiatric morbidity. Method: All the convicts (200) were divided into two groups i.e. those with and without psychiatric morbidity after initial screening for psychological distress by GHQ 12 followed by diagnostic evaluation using MINI and were subsequently compared regarding the differences in the coping strategies adopted by them using Coping Strategies Checklist. Results: Prisoners without psychiatric morbidity predominantly used denial (7.46±2.12) and externalization (3.63±1.24) as the coping strategies as compared to prisoners with psychiatric illness. Convicts with psychiatric disorders had used a significantly higher number of coping strategies (18.95±3.91) compared to those without psychiatric morbidity (16.37±3.21) and had mainly relied upon internalization (7.21±2.42) and anger (0.50±.82) as the coping mechanisms. Male convicts were more likely to use anger to cope with the prison stress. Conclusion: The use of maladaptive and ineffective coping mechanisms such as internalization and anger was more common among convicts with psychiatric morbidity. Specific psychological interventions in enhancing constructive coping strategies employed by the prisoners are of utmost importance as this will enable them to better cope up with the trauma of conviction and will help in reducing the mental health problems.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2016 I S Chahal, S Rana, P Singh
Received: December 17, 2015; Revision Received: January 20, 2016; Accepted: March 25, 2015
Published in Volume 03, Issue 2, January-March, 2016