Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Gender perspective of quality of life and well-being in Serbian prisons: Preliminary findings

Fri, September 8, 1:30 to 2:45pm, Palazzo Congressi, Floor: ground floor, Congressi 2


The study is part of a larger three-year research project called PrisonLIFE, supported by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia (No. 7750249), which aims to improve the understanding of the quality of prison life in Serbia. This specific study presents preliminary findings on gender differences in the perceived individual quality of life (QoL) in the context of Serbian prisons. Serbian version of the WHOQOL-BREF-QoL assessment was used to assess subjective well-being in physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment domains. Data was collected from 617 convicts in Serbia's five largest penitentiary facilities, with 86% being male and a mean age of 39.92 years (SD = 10.26; range 20–74). A series of independent-sample t-tests were conducted. The results showed a significant effect for gender, with male convicts reporting higher mean QoL scores than females in three domains: Physical health (14.73 vs 12.99, p < 0.001), Psychological (14.89 vs 13.80, p < 0.005), and Environment domain (13.16 vs 11.22, p < 0.001). However, there was no significant difference in the Social relationships domain score (14.32 vs 13.88, p = 0.277, d = 0.13). The effect sizes were moderate for the Physical health and Environment domains (d = 0.47 and d = 0.54, respectively) and small for the Psychological domain (d = 0.32). Female convicts in Serbia have reported experiencing more distress in terms of physical, psychological, and environmental well-being compared to male convicts, which aligns with prior research indicating that women in prison generally experience a lower QoL due to the combined effect of environmental stressors or the impact of incarceration on coping mechanisms. Gender-specific policies are necessary to improve the well-being of convicts in Serbian prisons, and further research is needed to better understand the causes of these gender differences and how to address them.