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The impact of parental imprisonment on children: A European comparative study

Project Description

This research will use systematic review and qualitative research methodology to answer the following research questions:
What is the impact of parental imprisonment on children?
What are the most effective ways of supporting the emotional and social needs of prisoners’ children?

1. To explore children’s experiences of parental imprisonment in the different countries.
2. To Identify the support that is offered to children in the different countries.
3. To Investigate if different philosophical approaches to punishment influence the provision of support for the children who have experienced parental imprisonment.
4. To explore how public attitudes to imprisonment impact on parent’s willingness to engage in support where available.
5. To dentify areas of best practice in the different countries.
6. To rovide recommendations to inform international policy and practice in this area.

Methodology and innovations

The study will initially include a systematic review of the current international literature relating to parental imprisonment.

The main study will take a qualitative approach with key actors including (children, parents, carers and professionals). In order to do this the study will utilise a range of methods including observations, interviews, focus groups and visual methods.

The subject of this study is sensitive, so the research design will need to reflect this by taking account of the potential vulnerability of some participants. In order to do this the study will draw on participatory and visual research methods to engage participants.

Taking a participatory approach to the research will situate the participants as central to the research process. The parents, carers and professionals will be integral in identifying appropriate methods to engage children in discussions about their experiences.

Application Web Page

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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