• RICHARD STEINHOFF MSc, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Department of Clinical Neuro
  • ANNE H. BERMAN PhD, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Center for Psychiatric Research, Karolinska Institutet, Box 17070, 104 62 Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm Center for Dependency Disorders, 46 704245360


Children, parents, imprisoned, resilience, stigma, experience, qualitative method.


Prior research indicates that children of imprisoned parentsare at twice the risk of mental health problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of children of imprisoned parents, and to broaden understandingin the context of other studies in which the child is faced with parental problems. Ten children, nine girls and one boy,aged 7-17 were interviewed. Audio recordings were transcribed and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. The results showed that children are negatively affected emotionally by parentalimprisonment,that they cope through support from family, friends, teachers and health professionals,and that they express feelings of stigma with regard to peers.In comparison with groups of children with other parental problems, children of prisoners see the problem as transient, with parental release asthe solution.


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