Religion in prison: An analysis of the impact of religiousness /spirituality on behavior, health and well-being among male and female prison inmates in Tennessee

Ronald G Turner, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Purpose. This dissertation research attempted to establish that the religiousness/spirituality of prison inmates (compared with five other independent variables) has an impact on disciplinary write ups, prescription drug use, medical visits, and well-being. ^ Research question. The primary research question for this dissertation is whether religiousness/spirituality makes a difference in prison inmates?^ Data and methodology. A survey was administered to the entire population of a men's prison and a women's prison in Tennessee with a response rate of 60 percent. The survey data was entered into SPSS for ease of analysis. The multivariate statistical method employed in this research was logistic regression, as there were four dependent dichotomous variables and six independent variables at the categorical level.^ Findings. Twenty-four null hypotheses were constructed in this research to be tested. Analysis of the data revealed findings that rejected 12 of the null hypotheses and failed to reject 12 of the null hypotheses. ^ With regard to disciplinary write ups, the variables of age, security classification, gender, and religiousness/spirituality (as measured by certain questions on the survey) were shown to be significant at the p < .05 levels.^ With regard to prescription drug use, the variables of age, security classification, gender, and religiousness/spirituality (as measured by certain questions on the survey) were shown to be significant at the p < .05 levels. ^ With regard to medical visits, the variables of gender and religiousness/spirituality (as measured by certain questions on the survey) were shown to be significant at the p < .05 levels.^ With regard to well-being, the variables of age, education, and religiousness/spirituality (as measured by certain questions on the survey) were shown to be significant at the p < .05 levels.^ The variable of race was not found to be significant.^ Limitations. Limitations were evident in this study and are discussed, including the large number of questions measuring religiousness/spirituality; the use of self-reported survey data, the fact that this was a cross-sectional study, the absence of a control group, and the inconsistent coding of responses to the survey.^ Future studies. Future studies are recommended which would include a possible factor analysis of the questions measuring religiousness/spirituality; the use of qualitative methodology and independent sources to verify survey data; longitudinal research; utilization of a control group; and consistent coding of survey responses.^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration|Sociology, Criminology and Penology|Gender Studies

Recommended Citation

Ronald G Turner, "Religion in prison: An analysis of the impact of religiousness /spirituality on behavior, health and well-being among male and female prison inmates in Tennessee" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3307301.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3307301

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