Emotional, social, and physical health characteristics of older men in prison

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1990;31(4):251-65. doi: 10.2190/QE9H-GV5T-KCJ6-EMJ4.


A competitive survey was carried out in three medium-security Federal prisons in British Columbia, Canada. The purpose was to compare the social, emotional, and physical health characteristics of older and younger inmates. The results showed that when compared with younger inmates, the older men had more contacts with friends and family, more friends in prison, and experienced less stress than the younger men. Aside from problems with vision and hearing, their physical health did not appear to be any worse when compared to that of younger inmates. This was surprising in light of age-related declines in health found in both the general population and in previous research with inmates. The study uncovered several unique problems concerning older prisoners, and a number of policy and program recommendations were generated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged* / psychology
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • British Columbia
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prisoners* / psychology
  • Social Support