What does your dad do for a living? Children of prisoners and their experiences of stigma

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Stigma has frequently been described as one of the unintended consequences of parental incarceration yet little research has been conducted on this issue with children and young people. This article examines and conceptualizes the experiences of stigma for children who have experienced parental incarceration in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The article reports on the findings of a qualitative study designed to investigate children's experiences of parental incarceration. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 16 children. The results of this study demonstrate that stigma associated with parental incarceration manifests in children's lives in different and distinct ways. Despite these differences, children and young people describe three key strategies to manage the stigma that they experience: maintaining privacy and withholding information; self- exclusion and self-reliance, and managing peer relationships. The policy and practice implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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