Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit

Dana L. Haynie, Corey Whichard, Derek Allen Kreager, David R. Schaefer, Sara Wakefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although a growing body of research documents lasting health consequences of incarceration, little is known about how confinement affects inmates’ health while incarcerated. In this study, we examine the role of peer social integration and prisoners’ self-reported health behaviors (smoking, exercise, perception of health, and depression) in a prison unit. We also consider whether inmates with similar health characteristics cluster within the unit. Drawing on a sample of 132 inmates in a “good behavior” unit, we leverage social network data to ask: In prison, is it healthier to become friends with other prisoners or keep your head down and “do your own time”? Using exponential random graph models and community detection methods, findings indicate that social integration is associated with better health outcomes. However, race-ethnicity, religious identity, and exercise intensity emerge as key factors sorting inmates into social groups and likely shaping the distribution of health behaviors observed in the unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-334
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of health and social behavior
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

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Prisons
Social Support
Health
Prisoners
Health Behavior
Exercise
Smoking
Head
Depression
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Haynie, Dana L. ; Whichard, Corey ; Kreager, Derek Allen ; Schaefer, David R. ; Wakefield, Sara. / Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit. In: Journal of health and social behavior. 2018 ; Vol. 59, No. 3. pp. 318-334.
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Haynie, DL, Whichard, C, Kreager, DA, Schaefer, DR & Wakefield, S 2018, 'Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit', Journal of health and social behavior, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 318-334. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146518790935

Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit. / Haynie, Dana L.; Whichard, Corey; Kreager, Derek Allen; Schaefer, David R.; Wakefield, Sara.

In: Journal of health and social behavior, Vol. 59, No. 3, 01.09.2018, p. 318-334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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