Factors affecting post-traumatic growth and anticipated desistance: An examination of females incarcerated for drug-related offenses

Doris C. Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Previous studies examining the effects of incarceration have been primarily focused on the negative outcomes and related stress associated with imprisonment. Although incarceration is usually described as a process of pain, despair, and hopelessness, yet some studies reveal that some prisoners report positive life changes occurring in the prison settings. This study aims to understand factors affecting female inmates’ post-traumatic growth and attempt for desistance during incarceration in Taiwan. Specifically, it explores whether and how family support, positive affect, sense of hope, core self, change of self-identity, and altruism contribute to female inmates’ post-traumatic growth and anticipated desistance. Data were analyzed with surveys conducted with 406 female i incarcerated for drug-related offenses in three female prisons in Taiwan. The results revealed that religiosity, sense of hope and altruism were correlated with post-traumatic growth. On the other hand, length of incarceration, age of first drug use, change of self-identity, sense of hope and altruism were found to be positively associated with desire for desistance.
The current research, of benefit to criminal justice agencies and practitioners, offers empirical evidence about factors affecting female inmates’ anticipating desistance. Findings of the research can suggest intervention courses and treatment that can facilitate for women prisoners’ desistance from drug use and crime.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 May 2023
Event23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) - Florence, Italy
Duration: 6 Sept 20239 Sept 2023


Conference23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (ESC)

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