Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/18211
Title: The Hidden Population: Familial Relationships and Social Supports Upon Parental Incarceration
Authors: GOH SHI YUN, JASLYN
Keywords: Incarceration, family, social supports, parents, youth
Issue Date: 17-Feb-2009
Source: GOH SHI YUN, JASLYN (2009-02-17). The Hidden Population: Familial Relationships and Social Supports Upon Parental Incarceration. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Incarceration is never only about an individual. This is especially the case when the person in custody is a parent. Issues of incarceration are further complicated with the fact that dismemberment due to imprisonment is unique because it carries with it much social stigma (Fritsch and Burkhead 1981; Howard 2000; Lowenstein 1986; Weissman and LaRue 1998). Stigma is also believed to spread to those connected to him (Arditti, Lambert-Shute, and Joest 2003; Goffman 1963; Hannon, Martin, and Martin 1984; Lowenstein 1986; Murray and Farrington 2005; Western and McLanahan 2000). The faces and fates of the family members the incarcerated population leave behind often remain unknown and scarcely documented (Arditti and McClintock 2001; Arditti, Lambert-Shute, and Joest 2003; Fritsch and Burkhead 1981; Herbst and Magaletta 2001; Reed and Reed 1997). In studying the hidden population of incarcerated parents and their families, I hope to give voice to this invisible, marginalized group in our society. I am interested in learning about the state of familial relationships, the various adjustments made and the informal and formal sources of social supports available for these families during parental incarceration. The examination of incarcerated parent-adolescent relationships and marital ties of incarcerated parents and their spouses point to the definite impairment incarceration has had on family members in maintaining relations and sustaining connectedness. Incarceration impacts and disjoints familial bonds. Despite the mixed and uncertain social-emotional conditions of respondents and the ambiguity of family life on the whole, families indicate the desire to remain intact. I also look at how families adjust their parenting roles with the help of extended kin supports during the parents? absence, and the other types of helps they draw from their extended kin resources. In terms of parenting, there are clear examples of differentiation. Traditional patterns and roles ofcaregiving persist; wives continue to be the children?s caregiver when their husbands are imprisoned whilst grandparents and other relatives more often take over this responsibility if wives are imprisoned. Residual spouses and children of incarcerated parents have had to take on extra roles and responsibilities, with the help of extended kin supports whom are often families? ?first line of care and support? (Chan 2001). Further, the extension of kin resources is seen to be divided along gendered lines as extended kin help out in more areas of familial life when mothers are incarcerated as compared to incarcerated fathers. Formal sources of support though present suffers from service gaps. Government initiatives for this largely ignored population of incarcerated parents and their families remain inadequate. My study hopes to generate policy interest and programme development regarding the need to develop pro-family, gender-sensitive measures in the rehabilitation of parents in prison. There is definitely a call for state intervention to support their family members in restoring or the building up of familial functionings. Both informal and formal sources of support would ultimately strengthen these vulnerable family units and equip them with necessary resources to be resilient in times of stress and crisis such as that of incarceration.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/18211
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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1 Cover.pdf7.38 kBAdobe PDF

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2 Acknowledgements to List of Figures (Pg i to vii).pdf136.15 kBAdobe PDF

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3-Maintext to Annex B (Pg 1-196).pdf1.29 MBAdobe PDF

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4-Annex C1-Incarcerated Parent Questionnaire.pdf250.94 kBAdobe PDF

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5-Annex C2-Spouse of Incarcerated Parent Questionnaire.pdf262.04 kBAdobe PDF

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6-Annex C3-Youth II Questionnaire.pdf286.79 kBAdobe PDF

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7-Annex C4 Social Worker Questionnaire & Annex D.pdf258.71 kBAdobe PDF

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