Children who have a parent in jail or prison are prone to unique stresses that do not impact many of their peers whose parents are not incarcerated. An estimated 1.7 million children have a parent in prison at any given time within the United States. Correlation has been found between incarcerated parents (both present and past) and higher rates of arrest, substance abuse, and school and behavioral problems. Children of incarcerated parents are also more than twice as likely to be incarcerated themselves. Reaching out to provide support for these children is essential, says Julie Poehlmann from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology. Her research shows that if children bond with a caregiver, they are more likely to avoid negative outcomes. But the majority of children need additional outreach, which at this point, schools and other agencies are not able to provide.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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