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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97389 Find in a Library
Title: Coping With Imprisonment
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1984)  Pages:403-421
Author(s): F J Porporino; E Zamble
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This review of research on the process of inmate adaptation and change occasioned by imprisonment concludes that such research should acknowledge differences in how prisoners appraise or interpret the experience of imprisonment and how they cope with the problems they encounter.
Abstract: An overview of the literature reveals that methodological and conceptual biases have produced inconsistent findings which are difficult to interpret. Most research has disregarded how particular aspects of the prison environment affect individual inmates or how individuals with certain personal characteristics react to it. These omissions are critical. Lazarus has articulated the best theoretical framework for the study of the coping process. Hans Toch has done the most extensive work in mapping out prisoners' perceptions of their environment. The authors' own research over the past few years has focused on differences in how prisoners appraise or interpret the experience of imprisonment, how they cope with the problems they encounter, and how these differences relate to specific behavioral and emotional indicators of adaptational outcome. A study of 106 admissions to the Federal penitentiary system in Ontario found useful correlations. Results confirm that when coping and cognitive appraisal differences are measured and outcome is examined, patterns of reactions to imprisonment can be identified. Coping process measures are more strongly associated with outcome than are background factors. This approach would be relevant to a number of critical concerns in corrections. Two tables and a list of 115 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Adjustment to prison; Canada; Effects of imprisonment; Inmate attitudes; Literature reviews; Ontario
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