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NCJ Number: 93324 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Support and Control Patterns of Inmate Mothers - A Pilot Study
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:63  Issue:2  Dated:(Autumn/Winter 1983)  Pages:155-166
Author(s): A S Kolman
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This examination of mother-child interactions in three types of correctional settings analyzes the frequency of interaction, the extent of support and control interactions, and types of support and control.
Abstract: The research was undertaken in three settings: a traditional women's prison, a community-based correctional facility, and an independent living skills program. The children of mothers sentenced to the prison were able to stay with their mothers at the prison for a weekend (the 'minimal contact' group), while the women sentenced to the community-based corrections facility could have their children reside with them while in the program ('intermediate contact' group). Mothers sentenced to the independent living skills program lived in their own households with their children and commuted to the program daily with their infants and preschool children ('maximum contact' group). Three mother-child pairs were observed in the prison setting, and nine pairs were observed in the community-based setting; four pairs were observed in the independent living skills program. Pairs of mothers and children were observed during 5-minute intervals in a variety of situations. Each pair of mothers and children was observed for at least 30 minutes. The observation focused on verbal interactions between the mothers and their children. Verbal statements made by both the mothers and children were coded by message sender and receiver and the type of verbal interaction (whether the message was negative or positive support). The mothers in all three settings initiated more verbal interaction than their children. The maternal data indicate that about 30 percent of the maternal verbal interaction was either support or control behavior. In all three settings, mothers as well as children exhibited more control than support when interacting. The mothers in the maximum contact setting were the most supportive and the most controlling, with the mothers in the intermediate-contact group engaging in the smallest amount of support and control interaction with their children. In all three correctional settings, coercive control (absolute commands, intimidation, and punishments) was the most frequent kind of support or control used by the mothers. If future research replicates the pattern of maternal support and control found in this study, it will suggest that incarcerated mothers use ineffective and perhaps counterproductive support and control patterns. This information is vital in providing incarcerated mothers with the skills necessary for performing their maternal socialization roles. Tabular data and 24 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates; Inmate visits
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