Psychosocial Problems and Coping Strategies of Prisoners: A Study in West Gojjam Zone

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Addis Ababa University


This study was aimed to examine the nature of psychosocial problems and coping strategies of prisoners. Data pertaining to these variables were obtainedfrom 200 (148 male, 52 Female, mean age = 25.85 years) prisoners of West Gojjam Zone Prison in Bahir Dar. The males were chosen randomly but almost all the available females were included as samples. The indices of psychosocial variables and coping were gathered using scales. Specifically, the instruments used in this study were Perceived Stress Scale, Beck Depression Scale Short Form, DASS-Anxiety Version, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Interpersonal Problem Inventory, Loneliness Scale, and Brief COPE Inventory. Consequently, the results of severity rating indexes and one sample t-tests suggest that prisoners are vulnerable to very serious levels of stress, depression, and anxiety but moderate level of self-esteem, interpersonal problem, and loneliness an a group. The cooccurrence of those problems was found very significant. The coping mechanisms used by the prisoners are highly correlated with the problems they are facing. Furthermore, the predominantly used coping strategy was religious cope. Of course, the group difference results show that almost all psychosocial variables and coping strategies were not sex dependent with some exceptions. Indeed, length of sentence was influential factor to aggravate the level of stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and to diminish self-esteem, but not interpersonal problem. On the other hand, most of the coping strategies were significantly depend on the length of incarcerated time as well as on rate offamily visit Accordingly, appropriate biopsychosocial intervention and preventions, trainings or professional care and supports have been recommended.



examine the nature of psychosocial problems