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Prisoner Health and Valuation of Life, Loneliness, and Depressed Mood

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Objective: To examine valuation of life, loneliness, and depressed mood as mediating the association between age and race/ethnicity and health outcomes among older adult male prisoners. Methods: Survey of 261 male prisoners ages 45-80 from 8 Oklahoma correctional facilities. Results: African American prisoners report fewer health conditions than White prisoners – a finding mediated by significantly greater valuation of life, less loneliness, and lower depressed mood among African American prisoners. Older prisoners reported more health conditions than younger prisoners independent of other study variables. Conclusion: Results suggest improving inmates' internal states will reduce incidence of illness and disease among older male offenders and associated healthcare costs.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Tulsa, OK, USA. 2: Doctoral Student, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Tulsa, OK, USA 3: Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Stillwater, OK, USA

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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