Coping strategies and psychopathology in young male inmates: relationship with time spent in prison and remand
Keywords:Coping strategies, avoidance coping, approach coping, psychopathology, stress
Coping is usually interpreted as a variable that mediates or moderates the destabilizing effect of stress. Generally speaking, approach coping is related to better mental health, while avoidance coping is associated with increased psychological malaise. The aims of this study were: a) to analyze the strategies used by young prison inmates in accordance with their degree of psychological maladjustment, and b) to determine the influence of two variables related to their situation: time spent in prison and their status (remand or convicted). The sample comprised 107 male inmates, with an average age of 20 years. The instruments used were the Coping Responses Inventory- Adult Form (Moos R.H., 1993) and the Spanish adaptation of the MMPI-2. Prisoners with symptomatic scores on the MMPI-2 used avoidance strategies more frequently, in particular emotional discharge. The prison status (remand or convicted) and time spent in prison had little value as explanatory variables of the level of psychopathology they expressed.