Parental imprisonment and boys' development and mental health
As prison populations reach unprecedented levels in Britain and in many other countries worldwide, many children of prisoners possibly suffer profound consequences. A new study at Cambridge University will investigate whether the experience of parental imprisonment might cause delinquency and mental health problems for children, and will consider how these problems could potentially be prevented.
The research will use information collected on over 1,000 boys and their parents for the last twenty years, in the United States. It will provide critical new evidence on how child adjustment after parental imprisonment can be understood and what might help children through this often traumatising time.
Findings from this study will be compared with results from England, Sweden, and Holland to try to identify the best policies and practices for supporting children of prisoners. Results will be disseminated to key government departments and voluntary sector organisations working with children of prisoners.
Dr Joseph Murray, University of Cambridge
Grant amount and start date:
1 December 2009
Murray J., Loeber R., Pardini D. (2012) Parental involvement in the criminal justice system and the development of youth theft, marijuana use, depression, and poor academic performance. Criminology 50 (1): 255-302
Summary of Findings: The effects of parental imprisonment on boys - findings from teh Pittsburgh Youth Study (2012) Action for Prisoners' Families
- Anxiety disorders and personality dysfunction in pregnancy
- Mental health care in resource poor settings
- Inter-parental relationships and children's mental health
- Sentencing of dangerous offenders
- 'Impaired ability' criterion for compulsory mental health treatment
- Time trends in adolescent well-being
- School experience