Psychological Adjustment and Problem Solving Skills in Convicted by Murder or Attempted Murder




psychological adjustment, clinical symptoms, problem solving skills, coping, murder, prison inmates


With the aim of knowing about psychological adjustment (clinical symptomatology and diagnosis) and problem-solving skills (coping) in a homicide prison inmate pop­ulation, a study to contrast sentenced murderers or at­tempted murderers with the normative population was conducted. Participated in the research, 27 male prison inmates at the Prison of Oporto (Portugal) with an age average of 38.63. Psychological adjustment and coping strategies were measured with the SCL-90-R checklist and the CRI-A questionnaire, respectively. The results exhibited that prison inmates showed a higher probability of being classified as clinical cases in most of the SCL-90-R dimensions (except in Hostility), as well as signifi­cantly higher scores in almost all of them (with the ex­ception of Hostility and Phobic Anxiety), an in the global indexes (i.e., GSI, PST, PSDI). Furthermore, prison in­mates were characterized by using avoidance coping strategies, which are considered such as maladaptive or unproductive. Likewise, the results from the crimino­logical characteristics of the inmates have revealed that homicides had a previous relationship with the victim, criminal versatility and a recidivism trend. Implications of the results for professional practice in penitentiary setting are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Manuel Vilariño, Universidad de Zaragoza

Departamento de Psicología y Sociología

Bárbara G. Amado, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Unidade de Psicoloxía Forense

Elsa Fernandes, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Unidade de Psicoloxía Forense

Ramón Arce, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Facultade de Psicoloxía


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How to Cite

Vilariño, M., Amado, B. G., Fernandes, E., & Arce, R. (2017). Psychological Adjustment and Problem Solving Skills in Convicted by Murder or Attempted Murder. Acción Psicológica, 14(2), 129–146.



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