The Role of Apathy in the Formation of Depression Syndrome in Male Prisoners



The article presents the results of a research work on the role of apathy in the formation of depression syndrome in male prisoners. Basing on the questionnaire polling results of men (N = 151) serving their sentences in one of the maximum security penal colonies in Omsk, an empirical model was built indicating that the formation of depression syndrome in male prisoners is a complex step-by-step process with early stages involving manifestation of hopelessness, boredom and loneliness and with apathy joining in at later stages. The analysis of social and demographic characteristics revealed that a prisoner's age, family situation, children, education, the sentence served or the charges of which he was convicted have no effect on his psychological symptoms (the prisoners' educational level is only found to influence the way hopelessness is experienced). The data obtained suggest that there is a necessity for educational activities in prisons and also indicate a potential utility of the results in the field of anti-crysis therapy for prisoners in Russia.

General Information

Keywords: apathy, hopelessness, predisposition to boredom, loneliness, male depressive syndrome

Journal rubric: Penitentiary Psychology and Penal Practice

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The research was funded by a grant (no. MK-541.2020.6) from the President of the Russian Federation aiming at state support for young Russian scientists with a PhD degree.

For citation: Zolotareva A.A. The Role of Apathy in the Formation of Depression Syndrome in Male Prisoners [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 2–13. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2021110101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alyona A. Zolotareva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Senior Research Fellow at the International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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