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Parenting Stress, Alliance, Child Contact, and Adjustment of Imprisoned Mothers and Fathers

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 48 Issue: 6 Dated: August-September 2009 Pages: 483-503
Date Published
August 2009
21 pages

This study contrasted the parenting stress and adjustment patterns of mothers and fathers incarcerated in U.S. prisons.


Results illustrate differences in the levels of contact, parenting stress and alliance, and associated adjustment patterns between incarcerated fathers and mothers. In comparison to inmate mothers, inmate fathers had less contact with children prior to and during incarceration, had poorer parenting alliances with their children's caregivers, and experienced higher levels of parenting stress concerning their attachment to children and competence as a parent. For both men and women, there was an association between parenting stress and increased levels of self-reported violent and aggressive behaviors in prison. For women, increased parenting stress as well as lower levels of parenting alliance with caregivers was associated with heightened depressive symptoms. Data were collected from 111 men and 100 women inmates incarcerated in 1 of 11 prisons in either Texas or Ohio. Tables and references

Date Published: August 1, 2009