Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Kathie Bates, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Eric Rosen, Ph.D.


Solitary confinement is one of the most enduring, severe, and restrictive prison practices that has been widely debated since its inception in the early 19th century. Across the United States, the development of supermaximum prison facilities and the use of solitary confinement have become foundational aspects of corrections. Despite the controversy surrounding solitary confinement, there has been a lack of empirical research in this area. This literature review attempted to further explore and advance the understanding of the potential harmful effects of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals. Specifically, this review summarized what is currently know regarding the effects of social isolation on incarcerated individuals’ overall functioning and discussed the gender differences related to social deprivation. In addition, the major gaps in past research were identified and directions for future research, as well as recommendations for clinicians and the prison system were addressed.