First Advisor

June Dunn

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Women prisoners -- Psychology -- Case studies, Mother and child, Separation (Psychology)



Physical Description

1 online resource (101 p.)


Although significant research has shed light on what happens to children when they are removed from their parents, few studies have explored the effects on parents undergoing separation from their children. Discussions tend to be confined to separate dimensions exploring child’s needs on one side and parental obligations on the other. Much of the planning and prolonged care provided for children in placement reflects a traditional child-centered focus. This has led to a lack of attention to parental needs, and a gross ignorance about their lives, feelings and aspirations.

When women are involuntarily separated from their children through incarceration, a more complex disruption between parent and child occurs. There is systemic research done on the unique nature and meaning of this separation to mothers. With this in mind, the focus of this descriptive study has been on the exploration of feelings and attitudes of imprisoned mothers regarding enforced separation from their children and the effects of imprisonment on their maternal role.


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A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University, 1975.

Persistent Identifier