An integrated exploration of factors associated with psychological distress among older prisoners

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This paper compares the contributions of socio-demographic, health, mental health, social and environmental factors in explaining variations in psychological distress among older prisoners in two Australian states. One hundred and seventy three prisoners (aged 50+ ) from 8 Australian prisons were interviewed using the Kessler Psychological Distress (K10) Scale. Three regression analyses were conducted to compare different models of 14 variables significantly associated with psychological distress. Independent variables most prominently associated with variations in psychological distress among older inmates were self-reported levels of social support, self-reported safety and ease of health care access. Difficulties in the built environment and mental health history were significantly explanatory of variations in older prisoner distress in two of the three models. The findings suggest that modifiable situational factors evident in current prison contexts are reasonably explanatory of variations in prisoner distress among older inmates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-834
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • prisoners
  • psychological distress
  • older adults
  • Ageing

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