Monday, 3 August 2015

Coping With Confinement: Adolescents’ Experiences With Parental Incarceration

an article by Elizabeth I. Johnson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA) and Beth A. Easterling (Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, USA) published in Journal of Adolescent Research Volume 30 Number 2 (March 2015)


Theory and research suggest that parental incarceration is often a significant source of stress for children and adolescents. Understanding how young people navigate the stressors of parental incarceration can shed important light on well-being and inform intervention efforts, but little research exists on the coping strategies that young people use during and after a parent’s incarceration.

Through in-depth interviews, this study explores how adolescents (n = 10) cope with parental incarceration.

Results suggest that most adolescents use some combination of three strategies: deidentification from the incarcerated parent, desensitization to incarceration, and strength through control.

Results reveal variability in how young people cope with parental incarceration, and underscore the importance of future research on the implications of different strategies for well-being.

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