Factors associated with young children's opportunities for maintaining family relationships during maternal incarceration

Julie Poehlmann, Rebecca J Shlafer, Elizabeth Maes, Ashley Hanneman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children affected by maternal incarceration experience challenges maintaining continuous family relationships because of changes in caregivers, separation from siblings, and limited contact with mothers. In this mixed-method study, we investigated maternal and contextual factors associated with continuity in family relationships of children living with relatives because of their mother's incarceration. Interviews with 92 incarcerated mothers revealed that children were more likely to live in continuous caregiving arrangements when mothers felt that the caregiver was their choice, when children lived with fathers, and when the mother-caregiver relationship was more positive. In addition, most mothers were concerned about the quality or stability of care when expressing a preference for children's living arrangements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Keywords

  • Child
  • Family
  • Incarceration
  • Kinship care
  • Stability
  • Visitation

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