South, C.R. and Wood, J. (2006) Bullying in Prisons: the Importance of Perceived Social Status, Prisonization and Moral Disengagement. Aggressive Behavior , 32 (5). pp. 490-501. ISSN 0096-140X.
Research has focused on the environmental causes of bullying in prison, but neglected the intrinsic characteristics of bullies. Although the importance of social status in prison has been noted as one factor that may influence bullying, no empirical research has yet addressed this. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether the perceived importance of social status in prison motivates bullying, with the subsidiary aim of exploring whether moral disengagement and prisonization influence the relationship. A total of 132 adult male prisoners were interviewed and categorized as a bully, victim, bully/victim or not involved. The prevalence of bullying was high, with over half the prisoners being both a victim and perpetrator of bullying. As predicted, bullying was positively related to the perceived importance of social status; prisoners involved in bullying valued social status more than those who were not. Furthermore, moral disengagement mediated the relationship between bullying and social status. Prisonization was also related to the perceived importance of social status, moral disengagement and bullying. It is concluded that a desire to achieve social status in prison may contribute to bullying. Furthermore, prisonized attitudes may instill values such as social status into prisoners and may also help facilitate cognitive distortions such as moral disengagement, which in turn, may serve to maintain involvement in bullying activity.
|Uncontrolled keywords:||prison bullying; social status; moral disengagement; prisonization; DIPC|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|Divisions:||Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology|
|Depositing User:||C.A. Simms|
|Date Deposited:||04 Sep 2008 12:27|
|Last Modified:||05 Sep 2011 23:37|
|Resource URI:||http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4463 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)|
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