Doctor of Clinical Forensic Psychology: Dissertation 1st A Child’s Mental Health

Doctor of Clinical Forensic Psychology: Dissertation 1st A Child’s Mental Health

12,000 word dissertation that gained a 1st for my degree with the Chicago School of Professional Psychology as a Doctor of Clinical Forensic Psychology.For your guidance only, this will give you a great insight of the topic and key issues for discussion and covers a wide breadth of theories and concepts; all using Harvard Referencing. 

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Full Title:

A Child’s Mental Health and Antisocial Behavior: A Closer Look at Effects of Parent Incarceration Based on Timing


On any given day, one in 28 children loses a parent to incarceration, creating a higher risk for mental health concerns and antisocial and criminal behavior. This study examined negative outcomes, such as antisocial behavior and criminal behavior, of children who have experienced a parent’s incarceration. A closer look was taken at the effects of mix timing incarceration, in and out of prison, on children. There was also an analysis on the influence of intergenerational criminal behavior on a child’s wellbeing and long-term outcome. The results of this study indicated that a parent incarcerated with mix timing during their children’s childhood and adolescence leads to a higher risk of mental health concerns in the minors. Depression was significantly higher in children with a history of parent imprisonment (M 54.6, SD 14.8) in comparison to children with a stable household (M 46.3, SD 9.6). All effect sizes showed that parental imprisonment with mix timing was associated with higher rates of child mental health concerns. Furthermore, findings showed that parental imprisonment was associated with higher rates of antisocial or criminal behavior among children. Children with imprisoned mothers reported being convicted for criminal activity at more than double the rate of the control group. Meanwhile, a significantly higher proportion of inmates had a history of paternal imprisonment (39%) than the control group (7%). As for aggressive and antisocial behavior, the odds ratio for children with parental imprisonment was 2.2 (CI= 1.6-3.0) for boys and 1.7 (CI= 1.3-2.4) for girls. The results of the study provide insight and awareness of the increasing numbers of children falling into a pattern of intergenerational incarceration, as well as mental health concerns and antisocial or criminal behavior. This dissertation provides evidence of the need for resources, awareness, and further prevention.

- Table of Contents -

List of Figures iii

Chapter 1: Nature of Study 1

Problem Statement 1

Purpose of Study 2

Research Questions 3

Application of Results 4

Chapter 2: Literature Review 6

Incarceration on a National Level 6

Witnessing a Parent’s Arrest 7

Household Changes 8

Delinquency 10

Mental Health 14

Parent-Child Contact during Incarceration 20

Types of Parent-Child Contact 22

Summary of the Literature Review 24

Chapter 3: Methodology 25

Problem Statement 25

Hypotheses 25

Participants 25

Research Design 26

Hypothesis 1 27

Description of Studies Included for Hypothesis 1 Meta-analysis 27  Findings of Meta-Analysis for Hypothesis 1 29

Hypothesis 2 30

Description of Studies Included for Hypothesis 2 Meta-analysis 30

Findings of Meta-Analysis for Hypothesis 2 33

Summary 34

Chapter 5: Discussion 36

Summary of Findings 38

Discussion of Results 39

Implications of Practice 41

Recommendations for Future Research 42

Summary 43

References 44