Kirsten Besemer1, Jacqui Homel1, Susan Dennison1, Joyce Arditti2
1Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane, Australia,2Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, USA
Research in the US found that the imprisonment of a parent increased children’s risk of heavy alcohol use in adolescence. However, there is currently no research evidence regarding the mechanisms through which these effects may be transmitted. In addition, research has focused only on children affected by the imprisonment of a parent, excluding children affected by the imprisonment of other family members, such as older siblings. Using a new 16-year nationally representative dataset of affected Australian families, we are now able to address these gaps in knowledge. We use Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to test a Family Stress-Proximal Process (FSPP) model to understand the effects of close family imprisonment on adolescent alcohol use. Through this model, we explore how psychological and proximal relational processes in families may influence children’s long-term outcomes after a family member is imprisoned.
Kirsten Besemer is a lecturer at Griffith University. Her research uses representative national Australian data sources to identify short- and long-term effects of imprisonment on prisoners’ family members.