EMOTION REGULATION, DISPOSITIONAL MINDFULNESS AND LENGTH OF STAY AS FACTORS IN SOMATIC SYMPTOMS AMONG PRISON INMATES

EMOTION REGULATION, DISPOSITIONAL MINDFULNESS AND LENGTH OF STAY AS FACTORS IN SOMATIC SYMPTOMS AMONG PRISON INMATES

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate emotion regulation, dispositional mindfulness and length of stay as factors in somatic symptoms among prison inmates, cross-sectional design was used. Participants were two hundred and nine (209) prison inmates. Their ages ranged between 18 – 62 years, with mean age of 30.9 and standard deviation of 8.68. Three instruments were used for data collection: Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Mindfulness Awareness Attention Scale and Somatization subscale of Symptom Distress Check List (SCL-90). Hierarchical multiple regression was the main statistic used for data analysis. The results of the regression analysis showed that of the two subscales of emotion regulation only cognitive reappraisal was a positive significant predictor of somatic complaints (β = .19, t = 2.80, p < .01), explaining 4% of the entire variance in somatic complaints and expressive suppression was not a significant predictor of somatic complaints (β = .12, t = 1.56). Dispositional mindfulness was a negative significant predictor of somatic complaints (β = -.32, t = -4.98, p < .001), accounting for 10% of the variance in somatic complaints (R2∆ = .10). Length of stay in prison did not significantly predict somatic complaints among prison inmates (β = .09) (R2∆ = .01). Recommendations were made on possible benefits of incorporating emotion regulation and mindfulness strategies in psychosocial interventions to reduce somatic complaints in correctional setting.