Incarcerated Mental Health

Superior Essays
“Mental Health of Children with Incarcerated Parents”
The United States has one of the biggest incarceration rates in the world. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics 2,22,300 adults were incarcerated in 2013, which is nearly 1 in 110 U.S resident population. In Illinois there were 47,483 inmates since 2015. (BJS) With incarceration you are bound to break up families. These families are affected in social, emotional, and economical ways. In specific, the children of the families with an incarcerated parent end up the most affected. Even though they might not always be fully aware of the situation at hand, nor might they be able to fully comprehend what is happening in their family structure. What they do realize is that a parent
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If they were children of a single parent the child might be placed in foster care or with a different family member. This change of environment can bring on a large amount of stress due to the child having to adapt. This also brings back the feeling of separation anxiety and the fact that the child can begin to develop resentment towards the parent that has been imprisoned, resulting in the child having abandonment issues. A child who experiences abandonment is more prone to having long-term psychological challenges.(LaVigne) When they are physically abandoned they are more likely to have anger issues, and mood swings which can lead to issues with creating relationships with other people in the future. Not only is this detrimental at the childhood level but when they bring along abandonment issues into adulthood, they can become severely depressed due to the fact that they are more likely to be solitary individuals who tend to withhold their emotions from others. These children can also develop self-esteem issues because they may think that they are not good enough, or that their parent would rather be in prison than to be with them. When the child develops these self esteem issues it can lead to issues such as body dysmorphia and a feeling of alienation. …show more content…
When a parent stops showing up to school functions or if the children’s schoolmates find out that the parent is in prison the child is more likely to be teased or bullied (De Masi.) When a child is constantly facing bullying they can transfer their feelings through different outlets. Some students can develop social anxiety and have a fear of being in public because they believe that they are a shame to society since their parent is in prison. Others may turn to violence and act upon their feelings of anger, and attack their perpetrators because they have been constantly bullied. Children can also develop self-esteem issues because they feel as if they are not good enough and cannot be seen as valuable, because their parent is in prison and people tend to reject

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