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NCJ Number: 218740 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Incarceration on Intimate Relationships
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal  Volume:34  Issue:6  Dated:June 2007  Pages:794-815
Author(s): Jennifer J. Harman; Vernon E. Smith; Louisa C. Egan
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20014
SPSSI Grant's-in-Aids Award
Washington, DC 20002-4340
Grant Number: F31MH069079-01
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined specific relationship challenges and factors impacting the reunification of ex-prisoners with their intimate partners upon their release.
Abstract: Three main themes emerged from the research: (1) how couples coped with separation; (2) the challenges couples faced during reunification; and (3) specific relationship dynamics that might put couples at risk for HIV infection. The findings suggest that upon reunification, partners have trouble reestablishing trust and intimacy and men feel a sense of emasculation, particularly if they are dependent upon their partner for financial support. The focus group participants focused on the institutional barriers to relationship maintenance, feelings of isolation while incarcerated, coping with sex and beliefs about infidelity, the awkwardness of starting over with their mate, challenges with reestablishing trust and intimacy, role strain, struggles for power and control, substance use and continued criminality, and HIV issues. The findings support calls to provide mental health, substance abuse, and health rehabilitation programming within prisons. Future research should focus on how to ease prisoner reunification with intimate partners. The research employed a focus group methodology in which 12 ex-prisoners, who were recruited from around New Haven, CT through the use of brochures and referrals from community-based organizations, completed 5 focus group interviews and 1 in-depth interview. All participants had been involved in a heterosexual relationship with an intimate partner prior to and during their incarceration. Focus group discussions focused on open-ended questions about their separation and reunification with their partner after incarceration. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically for emerging themes. References
Main Term(s): Family reunification
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Failure factors
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