, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 169-182

Factors affecting psychological well-being of three groups of suicide-prone prisoners

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Being imprisoned appears to lead some individuals to commit suicide whereas others appear to suffer little stress. Previous research has identified three groups of male prisoners (young remand, young sentenced and those serving life sentences) where the incidence of suicide is high. The present study examined institutional and individual factors that were related to levels of anxiety, depression and psychological well-being within these groups. A psychiatric history, religious faith, feelings of guilt, lack of close friends outside prison, or disinclination to take part in sport, training or hobbies were found to be associated with high levels of anxiety, depression and psychological morbidity. So too were the severity of environmental hassles and worries. The implications of these findings are discussed.