The impact of contextual family risks on prisoners’ children’s behavioural outcomes and the potential protective role of family functioning moderators
European Journal of Developmental Psychology
Taylor & Francis
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Markson, L., Lamb, M., & Lösel, F. (2015). The impact of contextual family risks on prisoners’ children’s behavioural outcomes and the potential protective role of family functioning moderators. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 13 325-340. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2015.1050374
Research suggests that children of prisoners have an increased risk for behavioural and emotional problems. However, in a resilience approach one should expect heterogeneous outcomes and thus apply a contextualised perspective. As this is rarely acknowledged in empirical research, the present study sought to fill this gap using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study on 801 children of imprisoned fathers. We explored the extent to which cumulative family risks measured during the first year of life (e.g., poverty, mental health problems) predicted behavioural outcomes at age 9 and whether potentially protective aspects of family functioning moderated the impact of these risk factors. Cumulative risk significantly predicted behavioural outcomes, but the associations were weak. No strong evidence of moderation was found. At low risk, mother-child closeness moderated behavioural outcomes. There was also some evidence of moderation by accumulated protective factors. Potential implications for policy and practice and challenges for further research are discussed.
children of prisoners, cumulative risk, family functioning, protective factors, behavioural development, resilience
The authors would like to thank the Economic and Social Research Council for providing funding for this research, the organisers of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Summer Data Workshop 2013 for their introduction to the dataset and Steve Lainé for his technical support.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2015.1050374
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248332
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 UK
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/