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Nonstranger Victimization and Inmate Maladjustment: Is the Relationship Gendered?

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2016
26 pages
Using nationally representative samples of men and women housed in State prisons, this study examined gender differences in the effects of experiencing different types of non-stranger victimization prior to prison on inmate maladjustment.
Scholars have hypothesized that victimization elicits distinctive effects on women’s pathways to prison and subsequent prison maladjustment, but few researchers have investigated gender differences in this relationship. Results from the current study indicate that pre-prison, non-stranger victimization affects men’s and women’s maladjustment similarly, with some gender differences—specifically, the effect of being physically assaulted by a non-stranger as an adult on violent misconduct was stronger among men, as was the effect of child abuse on men’s depressive symptoms. The findings suggest the effects of experiencing non-stranger victimization prior to incarceration on prison maladjustment may be gender-neutral more than gender-specific. Based on the study findings, non-stranger victimization should be deemed important in theories of men’s maladjustment as well as in theories of women’s maladjustment. 121 references (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: August 1, 2016