Effect of Parental Incarceration on Their Children: Children’s Experience of Parents’ Arrest and Information Disclosure to Children on Parents’ Arrest

Afua AMANKWAA

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation

Abstract

We examined the arrest experience and information disclosure of parents arrest to 17 children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers. Using in-depth interviews with children and their caregivers, data were gathered on the experience of children during their parents’ arrest, and how information on parents’ arrest was disclosed to children who were not available during their parents’ arrest. Analyses of interview transcripts thematically showed that 6 out of the 17 children were available during the arrest of their parents. This happened as police officers did not make enquires on presence of children before arriving at their arrest venue. Further, most of these children were exposed to their parents been violently treated by police officers which had emotional effect on them, while some retain vivid memories of the arrest. Our results also suggest that, there was little or no preparation of children who were not available during their parents’ arrest psychologically for the receiving of information on their parents’ arrest. As some got to know about their parents’ arrest while in school, others got to know through teasing by their friends as their caregivers lied to them concerning their parents’ whereabouts. Disclosure of information on parents’ arrest to children led to some children been emotionally traumatized. In comparison of children with incarcerated mothers to children with incarcerated fathers, children with incarcerated mothers were more likely to have witnessed the arrest of their mothers. Implications for these findings are discussed in the study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020
EventSoutheastern Council on Family Relations Conference 2020: A Vision for Families: Exploring and Solidifying Professional Identity in Family Sciences - Birmingham, United States
Duration: 2 Apr 20204 Apr 2020
https://dc.etsu.edu/secfr-conf/

Conference

ConferenceSoutheastern Council on Family Relations Conference 2020
CountryUnited States
CityBirmingham
Period2/04/204/04/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Parental incarceration
  • arrest experience
  • information disclosure
  • children

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  • Cite this

    AMANKWAA, A. (2020). Effect of Parental Incarceration on Their Children: Children’s Experience of Parents’ Arrest and Information Disclosure to Children on Parents’ Arrest. Southeastern Council on Family Relations Conference 2020, Birmingham, United States.