Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Steven Messner


During their stay on death row, inmates have an abundance of free time with which they need to fill. Many inmates will turn to religion in order to preoccupy themselves. This research project set out to analyze the nature of religious coping among death row inmates. I propose that an inmate who is actively involved with their religion while coping will be able to cope with the social setting of death row better than an inmate who is falling out with their religion. Following a content analysis of scholarly research from a variety of academic disciplines, this project found that the symptoms of “death row syndrome” are conducive to cause an inmate to cope with religion. Death row inmates will cope more successfully with positive religious coping rather than negative religious coping.This research project reaffirms the notion that optimism is crucial for stable mental health.

Included in

Sociology Commons