Motivation and coping are two of the most relevant factors associated to well-being. One of our objectives was to describe the motivation to pursue the personal goals, the coping strategies used to pursue them, and the levels of well-being experienced, in a group of people serving prison sentences (n = 175: 143 males and 32 females). We mainly wanted to study the joint contribution of motivation and coping on their well-being. The results have shown that motivation and coping contribute to the different dimensions of well-being. Specifically, we have found that autonomous motivation (AM) as well as problem solving (PS) and positive cognitive restructuring (PCR) coping positively predict self-acceptance (β = .12, p = .06; β = .17, p < .05; β = .24, p < .01 respectively), purpose in life (β = .12, p = .06; β = .35, p < .001 and β = .24, p < .001 respectively) and positive affect (β = .13, p = .06; β = .29, p < .001 and β = .28, p < .001 respectively). Personal growth was positively predicted by AM (β = .21, p < .01) and PCR coping (β = .21, p < .01), and negatively by avoidance coping (β = –.16, p < .05). Negative affect was positively predicted by social support (β = .16, p < .05) and avoidance (β = .42, p < .001) coping. None of the variables analyzed predicted life satisfaction. The results suggest that well-being promotion programs in prison settings should encourage the pursuit of goals by AM and the use of PS and PCR coping to achieve these goals.

María Ávila and Pilar Sanjuán

The Spanish Journal of Psychology, Volume 21, 25 October 2018

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The Joint Contribution of Motivation and Coping to Prisoners’ Well-Being [2018]