• An Examination of Chronic Pain Coping Strategies and Health Locus of Control among Prison Inmates

      Mitrovich, Joseph M. (2011-03-16)
      The present study evaluated the types of coping strategies for chronic pain implemented by 88 inmates, and the degree to which these inmates possessed an internal versus external locus of control. Based on the findings of previous research, it was expected that inmates would report utilizing passive coping strategies more often than active coping strategies, and that passive strategies would be associated with poorer adjustment to pain in terms of depression, pain intensity, and pain interference with daily activities. It was also expected that inmates would report higher levels of external locus of control beliefs than internal locus of control beliefs, and that an external locus of control beliefs would be associated with the use of passive coping strategies. Lastly, it was hypothesized that external locus of control beliefs would be associated with poorer adjustment to pain in terms of depression, pain intensity, and pain interference with daily activities. Contrary to hypotheses, inmates in this sample utilized active pain coping strategies significantly more often than passive pain coping strategies, and reported a significantly higher level of internal locus of control beliefs than external locus of control beliefs. As expected, passive pain coping strategies and external locus of control beliefs were significantly associated with depression, higher rated pain intensity, and increased interference with daily activities. Finally, ratings of use of passive pain coping strategies were significantly related to external locus of control beliefs.