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NCJ Number: 113920 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Architecturally Mediated Effects of Social Density in Prison
Journal: Environment and Behavior  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1988)  Pages:3-19
Author(s): M A Schaeffer; A Baum; P B Paulus; G G Gaes
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 17
Grant Number: C07205
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used a prison setting to examine self-report and biochemical evidence of architecturally mediated crowding stress, and the relationship among illness complaints, perceived crowding, and urinary catecholamines was explored.
Abstract: Inmates of a Federal corrections institution provided urine samples assayed for epinephrine and norepinephrine, and they supplied self-report data on their perceptions of crowding. A review of infirmary records yielded inmates' health histories. Inmates resided in one of three housing types that varied by the degree of privacy and crowding afforded. Private cells provided the lowest social density, and open dormitories had the highest. Partitioned dormitories or cubicles provided intermediate social density. Across all inmates, perceived crowding was positively correlated with levels of urinary catecholamines. Single-cell inmates reported less crowding and exhibited lower levels of urinary catecholamines than dormitory inmates; however, there was not a good linear relationship between increasing social density and increasing levels of each of the dependent measures. Cubicle inmates had the highest level of illness complaints, but their catecholamine levels were comparable to those of single-cell inmates. Findings are consistent with other studies in showing that cubicles provide positive reactions on some dimensions but not on others. 6 tables, 33 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Prison construction
Index Term(s): Architectural design; Prison overcrowding; Stress assessment
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