• KRIS CHRISTMANN Research Fellow, Applied Criminology Centre, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield
  • MARIA NICOLETA TURLIUC Professor, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Toma Cozma Street, Iasi, Romania
  • CORNELIA MAIREAN PhD Student, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Toma Cozma Street, Iasi, Romania


Children of prisoners, resilience, family resilience, community resilience.


This paper reviews theory and evidence on the risk for child mental health and well-being following parental imprisonment in Europe, America, and Australasia, and examines some cross-country differences in outcomes. In an attempt to explain these cross-country differences a particular focus on strengths based approaches is provided in discussing how a number of risk factors might explain mental health problems following parental imprisonment. In doing so, the authors seek to integrate findings from both deficit perspectives and the resilience research literature and point the way to a more profitable research agenda. The implications of resiliency processes in understanding positive adaptation for children of prisoners are then discussed. The paper argues the pivotal role that family resilience and community resilience (especially school social support) plays in building the capacity for resilience, and the consequent need to broaden the research agenda by investigating resilience at the individual, relational and community level.


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