Crowding in a Woman's Prison: Attitudinal and Behavioral Effects1


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    The authors wish to thank Jamie Pennebaker and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Barry Ruback, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303.


Two studies were conducted to assess the impact of crowding on female inmates. The first study, an archival analysis of the records of 561 women prisoners, showed that the average population in the institution was significantly related to the transformed rate of disciplinary infractions, even when other variables had been controlled for. The second study, which used a questionnaire, found that inmates' perceived control was positively related to liking for their room and negatively related to their reported stress and physical symptoms. In addition, the stress inmates experienced was negatively related to liking for their room and positively related to physical symptoms.