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August 1992

Children of Prisoners

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Arizona Health Sciences Center Steele Memorial Children's Research Center 1501 N Campbell Ave Tucson, AZ 85724
Pediatrics Clinic Kino Community Hospital 2800 E Ajo Way Tucson, AZ 85713
Pediatrics Clinic University Physicians Inc 3443 N Campbell Tucson, AZ 85719

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(8):902-903. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160200024014

Sir.—We would like to call attention to the increasing number of children at high risk for behavioral and psychosocial problems—the children of prisoners. Our interest in these children was aroused because of the frequency of their appearance and similarity of their problems at our pediatric behavior problems clinic; of 243 children seen in our clinic in the past 4 years, 10 had fathers or mothers in prison. Children are referred to this once-weekly clinic for a variety of problems, most commonly school problems, enuresis, encopresis, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or oppositional/conduct disorders. The fact that the child's father or mother is in prison is often not known by the referring doctor.

These children face multiple difficulties.

  1. 1. The loss of financial and emotional support provided by the incarcerated parent may be great. Many of these children already lived in poverty.

  2. 2. The child may be stigmatized at school and in

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