Substance abuse, psychopathy and aggression among prison inmates: A comparative study
Previous studies particularly in Nigeria have reported higher prevalence of recidivism among male prison inmates. Several factors including prison characteristics and psychological factors have been found to contribute to recidivism. However, less is known about the differences between recidivists and non-recidivists on these psychological correlates of recidivism. The aim of this study is to investigate the differences between recidivists and non-recidivists on substance abuse, psychopathy and aggression among Nigerian male prison inmates. Participants were 255 male prison inmates (mean age = 27.96, SD = 5.38) from the Nigerian Prison Services, Enugu. Participants responded to the Drug Abuse Screening Test, Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, and Aggression Questionnaire. The results showed that there was a significant difference between recidivists and non-recidivists on substance abuse such that the recidivists had showed higher problematic drug use compared to the non-recidivists. Inmates who were recidivists showed greater psychopathic behaviour compared to non-recidivists. Similarly, the result revealed a significant difference between recidivist and non-recidivist on verbal aggression and hostility dimensions of aggression questionnaires indicating that recidivist exhibited higher verbal aggression and were more hostile compared to the non-recidivist. There was no significant difference between recidivist and non-recidivist on primary psychopathy, physical aggression and anger. This study underscores the importance of psychological intervention aimed at managing inmates with substance use problem, psychopathy and aggressive tendencies as this will greatly reduce the rate of recidivism found among Nigerian male person inmates.