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Reported health -promoting behaviors of incarcerated males

Stephen Michael Bolio, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The purpose of this study was to examine Pender's Health Promotion Model to determine the effects of selected cognitive perceptual variables, modifying factors, and situational factors on the reported health-promoting behaviors of young-adult incarcerated males. Data were collected from 266 incarcerated males at a medium security prison located in north-central Massachusetts. This convenience sample was disproportionately minority, predominately young, male, and from the poor and disadvantaged strata of society. The sample ranged in age from 18 to 35 years (M = 28.4, SD = 4.3). Six dimensions of lifestyle were measured using the 52-item Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP II). Competence in health matters, perceived self-efficacy, and health judgments were measured using the 17-item Health Self-Determinism Index (HSDI). Perceived family social support was also measured using the 20-item Perceived Social Support - Family scale. Demographic data was also collected on age, level of education, and years of incarceration. Results indicated there was a weak association between perceived family support and general health status. Perceived family support likewise explained 9 to 20% of the variance in the six dimensions of health-promoting lifestyle behaviors. Differences were noted in the ethnic/racial mix with young adult incarcerated Hispanic males reporting higher total HPLP II scores (M = 131.04) while young adult incarcerated Caucasian males reported higher levels of education (M = 10.96). No significant differences between subject's aged 18 to 26 and 27 to 35 were noted among study variables (i.e., level of education, perceived general health status, total HPLP II, total HSDI, and perceived family social support). Conclusions and implications for future research are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Social psychology|Nursing|Personality psychology|Criminology|Cognitive psychology|Health education

Recommended Citation

Bolio, Stephen Michael, "Reported health -promoting behaviors of incarcerated males" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9920586.