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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Exploring Children and Young People’s Experiences of Maternal Imprisonment: A Study in Scotland
Author(s): Primrose, Kirsty
Supervisor(s): Wilson, Sarah
Munro, William
Keywords: Female offenders
visual methods
Issue Date: 3-May-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis explores children and young people’s lived experiences of having a mother in prison within a Scottish context. Previous research has focused predominantly on the effects of paternal imprisonment. Research into maternal imprisonment, of which there is little, has often been undertaken from an adult’s point of view. Both national policy and wider research agree that the children and young people’s own thoughts and perspectives should be taken into consideration when decisions are made that affect them. A primary aim of this research was to give children and young people a voice, so that they could express their experiences of maternal imprisonment. This was achieved by utilising an innovative, qualitative design, underpinned by a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Visual methods (Talking Mats) were used to garner self-directed responses. Eight children (under the age of 14) were interviewed using Talking Mats in order to understand their experiences of having a mother in prison. The aim of this approach was to break down communication issues surrounding children and young people’s narratives in academic research. Three young people (aged 14 and above) were also interviewed, but because of their care situation, they did not use similar visual methods. Of particular note in this thesis was that no one had previously talked to the children and young people about their experiences of maternal imprisonment. By asking about their experiences of maternal imprisonment, this research revealed the ambivalent nature of the feelings children and young people have towards their mother. It was found that the previous quality and type of relationship between child and mother was foundational to children and young people’s experiences of maternal imprisonment. It is intended that the outcomes of this research will lead to greater support and services for children and young people affected by maternal imprisonment.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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