Children of prisoners - maintaining family ties

Literature review - Theories about the effects of parental imprisonment on children

If parental imprisonment does cause adverse outcomes for children, it is necessary to understand the processes by which this comes about (43). Factors that explain the link between parental imprisonment and child outcomes are called mediators (26, 44). The figure below shows mediators that might link parental imprisonment and child maladjustment (as well as pre-existing risks (see Does parental imprisonment have a causal effect on children?), and moderating factors (see Different effects of parental imprisonment on different children). For example, the effects of parental imprisonment on children might be mediated by parent–child separation, economic strain, strained parenting, and stigma. (On these and other theories, see 25).

Parental imprisonment and child outcomes: conceptual model, adapted from (26)