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Children of Imprisoned Parents and Their Coping Strategies: A Systematic Review

Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9-10, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Societies 2017, 7(2), 15;
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion)
Children of imprisoned parents have a two times greater risk of health problems, including difficulties in their environment, academic and behavioural problems as well as social stigma. Focusing on children who have parents in prison has not been a priority for research. This review aims to describe current knowledge on children who have imprisoned parents in a global context and highlight areas for additional research. This review highlights the coping strategies that children of imprisoned parents use and explores interventions that exist to support children of imprisoned parents. This review employed a qualitative narrative synthesis. The database search yielded 1989 articles, of which 11 met inclusion and quality criteria. Stigmatizing children due to parental imprisonment was a widespread problem. Children’s coping strategies included maintaining distance from the imprisoned parent, normalizing the parent’s situation and taking better control over their lives through distraction, sports, supportive people and therapy. Children received the best support in school-based interventions or mentoring programmes. The overall low quality of the included studies indicates a need for further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: coping strategies; children; imprisoned parents; interventions; systematic review coping strategies; children; imprisoned parents; interventions; systematic review
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Heinecke Thulstrup, S.; Eklund Karlsson, L. Children of Imprisoned Parents and Their Coping Strategies: A Systematic Review. Societies 2017, 7, 15.

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