Personality and coping in young inmates: a cluster typology

Susana Mohíno, Teresa Kirchner, Maria Forns
Psychopathology 2008, 41 (3): 157-64

OBJECTIVE: Firstly, to identify groups of inmates according to personality. Secondly, to differentiate types of personality through coping strategies, psychopathology, criminal records and social factors.

METHOD: A cross-sectional design was used to study psychosocial, correctional, personality and clinical characteristics in inmates. The group was composed of 106 male inmates. The measures used to evaluate personality, clinical and psychosocial variables were a standard protocol and three self-report questionnaires: the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and the Coping Responses Inventory-Adult Form. A cluster analysis, ANOVA and Kruskall-Wallis test were conducted.

RESULTS: Four clusters were identified. The secondary type was characterized by an impulsive, suspicious, hostile personality, by anxiety, a low tolerance of frustration, and by the use of cognitive avoidance coping. The controlled-healthy type showed a less pathological and more self-controlled personality. The primarytype was similar to secondary, but with lower tendency to impulsivity. The inhibited-affected type was shown to have an avoidant personality, greater tendency to symptomatology and also to use acceptance-resignation and emotional discharge coping.

CONCLUSION: The four groups of young inmates identified showed profiles with different degrees of psychopathological risk and also different coping profiles.

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