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Age and Adjustment to Prison: Interactions With Attitudes and Anxiety

NCJ Number
Date Published
D L MacKenzie
Interpersonal conflict and major misconducts indicative of aggressive behavior were examined as a function of age for a homogeneous set of prison inmates.
In contrast to previous studies, a direct linear decline in these behaviors did not occur with age. The pattern of change over age varied for the aggressive behaviors. Furthermore, age differences in anxiety and attitudes were found. There was no indication that the age differences in conflicts and misconducts were due to age differences in the ability to cope with the environment. However, there was some evidence that attitudes may differentially effect the behavior of inmates of different ages. Stronger attitudes reflecting either fear or victimization or the need to assert oneself in interactions with others led to more interpersonal conflicts at any age but only the youngest responded in manner leading to punishment by the institution. (Publisher abstract)
Date Created: December 30, 1987