Anxiety and Crime: A Comparison Between Incarcerated Mothers and Nonmothers

Katy Ellen Roth, Tennessee State University


Previous research has found the majority of women in prisons are mothers (Coll, Surrey, Buccio-Notaro, & Molla, 1998) and a large number of women in prison are incarcerated due to drug crimes and property crimes related to drug use (D., S., & Hewko, 2014). From research, it seems incarcerated mothers are being convicted of drug related crimes to either cope with anxiety around being a parent and/or provide for their children. Fogel and Martin (1992) have found that both mothers and nonmothers have elevated anxiety levels at the time of incarceration. However, after a six month follow up mothers significantly had elevated anxiety compared to the nonmothers. There are currently mixed findings around anxiety levels and types of crimes committed (violent vs. nonviolent crimes) regarding mothers and nonmothers who are incarcerated. The purpose of the study was to examine if incarcerated mothers engaged in more nonviolent crimes than nonmothers, if higher levels of anxiety showed to be related to the intensity of the crime (violent or nonviolent), and if there was an interaction between incarcerated mothers, anxiety, and crime.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Psychology|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Katy Ellen Roth, "Anxiety and Crime: A Comparison Between Incarcerated Mothers and Nonmothers" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10975263.