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Journal Article


Maschi T, Viola D, Morgen K. Gerontologist 2014; 54(5): 857-867.


*Address correspondence to Tina Maschi, LCSW, ACSW, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, 113 West 60th Street, New York, NY 10023. E-mail:


(Copyright © 2014, Oxford University Press)






Purpose of Study: A theoretical integration of the life course perspective, cumulative advantage, disadvantage or inequality, and stress processing theories provide an important integrated lens to study the relationship between accumulated interpersonal, social-structural, and historical trauma and stressful experiences on mental well-being mental well-being in later life. DESIGN AND METHODS: This study builds upon the extant literature by examining the mediating role of coping resources on the relationship between trauma and stressful life experiences, post traumatic stress symptoms, and mental well-being among a sample of 677 adults aged 50 and older in prison. RESULTS: The majority (70%) reported experiencing one or more traumatic or stressful life experiences during their life span. Participants also reported on average 11 occurrences of multilevel trauma and stressful life events and lingering subjective distress related to these events. Results of a structural equation model revealed that internal and external coping resources (e.g., cognitive, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social) had a significant and inverse effect on the relationship between trauma and stressful life experiences and mental well-being. IMPLICATIONS: As prisons are forced to deal with an aging population, research in this area can take the preliminary steps to enhance understanding of risk and resilience among older adults in prison. This understanding will aid in the development and improvement of integrated theory-based interventions seeking to increase human rights, health, and well-being among older adults in prison.

Language: en


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