Missing Voices and Aging in Prison: Religiosity’s Influence on Positive Aging through Forgiveness




Randall, G. Kevin
Bishop, Alex J.

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OBM Geriatrics


Background: This study investigated the influence of positive psychological predictors, religiosity and forgiveness, on subjective and objective successful aging outcomes among incarcerated males. Methods: Male prison inmates (N=261), aged 45 to 82 and incarcerated in eight state-managed correctional facilities, were sampled from the prison census database (Oklahoma Department of Corrections or DOC). Exclusion criteria, per the Oklahoma DOC, were those housed in medical or psychiatric units, currently in solitary confinement, or sentenced to death row. Results: The final mediation model fit the data well: MLR χ2 (df = 101, N = 256) = 7.40, p = .014, CFI = .98; RMSEA = .04 and SRMR = .03. With the exception of two direct effects, forgiveness mediated the relationship between religiosity and seven successful aging outcomes. Significant tests of total indirect effects through the three latent variable forgiveness mediators on each outcome were found; no specific indirect effects were significant. Analyses controlled for age, race, education, and crime type. Conclusions: Findings encourage continued investigations into the religiosity—forgiveness—health connection and specifically recommend forgiveness promoting interventions for all. For those incarcerated, interventions should include focus on forgiveness relative to earlier life trauma and abuse.


This article was originally published by OBM Geriatrics


prisoner, mental health, physical health


Randall, G. K., & Bishop, A. J. (2018). Missing Voices and Aging in Prison: Religiosity’s Influence on Positive Aging through Forgiveness. OBM Geriatrics, 2(4). doi:10.21926/obm.geriatr.1804018