The broad, long-term objectives of this renewal application are to continue the pioneering contributions our series of studies are making to knowledge concerning incarcerated parents and their children, specifically the reentry outcomes of those children and women who co-reside in a prison nursery during the early infancy months. This project is relevant to the transdisciplinary and translational emphases of the NIH Roadmap and to the NINR key areas of health promotion/disease prevention and health disparities. Participants (100 dyads) are recruited from our earlier cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of prison nursery mother-baby co- residents. Following informed consent, dyads are randomly assigned to an experimental intervention or attention control. Intervention is nurse-delivered phone and mail anticipatory guidance with tailored messages to support child development and related maternal goal setting.
Specific aims are to: 1. Compare frequencies and conditions for consistent versus interrupted mother-child attachment during toddler, preschool, and school age years for infants raised in a prison nursery. 2. Using a randomized controlled trial design, test the impact of a nurse delivered parenting support intervention implemented in mail/phone format during continued reentry years on: maternal reentry success and child development during the toddler, preschool, and early school-age years. 3. Identify longer-term criminal recidivism of women with previous prison nursery incarceration compared with general population inmates. 4. Use our prospective database with national large datasets to compare developmental outcomes and related maternal and family characteristics between children raised as infants by mother in a prison nursery and community children separated from mother by incarceration or having other relevant risk factors for insecure attachment and sub-optimal development. Attachment theory, self-regulation within the psychobiological developmental perspective, and the grounded theory that emerged in the previous study with this population, """"""""Choosing the Parenting Self,"""""""" provide a cohesive theoretical scaffold from which hypotheses are tested. Mixed design approaches are necessitated by the current and proposed aims and dictated by the tentative state of the science for children with incarcerated parents. The design combines a randomized controlled trial of a previously tested intervention extended to a new age group; descriptive analysis of maternal and family variables, child development, and criminal recidivism in later reentry years; and comparative descriptive analyses for prison-raised and community-raised children using secondary analysis of four large datasets and the prospective database produced by this study. A mixed longitudinal approach is used to optimize the amount of data that can be collected across developmental ages and years of reentry.

Public Health Relevance

This research is relevant to the public health because it continues to identify and address the broad health needs of previously incarcerated women and the children they have raised in a prison nursery, a dyad population with multiple risk factors for whom scant longitudinal data are available. Following an established cohort is important over the short-term to learn how to optimize the earlier resources invested in them and to determine under what conditions healthy life patterns can be established during the critical reentry transition period. Deeper knowledge of this population and testing a brief intervention to support parenting and healthy development make this research important over the long-term because of the potential to prevent or interrupt cycles of mental and physical health problems, drug addiction and criminal recidivism across two generations. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Nursing Science: Children and Families Study Section (NSCF)
Program Officer
Hardy, Lynda R
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Nursing
New York
United States
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Goshin, Lorie S; Byrne, Mary W; Blanchard-Lewis, Barbara (2014) Preschool Outcomes of Children Who Lived as Infants in a Prison Nursery. Prison J 94:139-158
Goshin, Lorie S; Byrne, Mary W; Henninger, Alana M (2014) Recidivism after release from a prison nursery program. Public Health Nurs 31:109-17
Byrne, Mary W; Goshin, Lorie; Blanchard-Lewis, Barbara (2012) Maternal Separations During the Reentry Years for 100 Infants Raised in a Prison Nursery. Fam Court Rev 50:77-90
Goshin, Lorie S; Byrne, Mary W (2012) Predictors of post-release research retention and subsequent reenrollment for women recruited while incarcerated. Res Nurs Health 35:94-104
Byrne, M W; Goshin, L S; Joestl, S S (2010) Intergenerational transmission of attachment for infants raised in a prison nursery. Attach Hum Dev 12:375-93
Borelli, Jessica L; Goshin, Lorie; Joestl, Sarah et al. (2010) Attachment organization in a sample of incarcerated mothers: distribution of classifications and associations with substance abuse history, depressive symptoms, perceptions of parenting competency and social support. Attach Hum Dev 12:355-74
Goshin, Lorie Smith; Byrne, Mary Woods (2009) Converging Streams of Opportunity for Prison Nursery Programs in the United States. J Offender Rehabil 48:271-295
Byrne, Mary Woods (2005) Conducting research as a visiting scientist in a women's prison. J Prof Nurs 21:223-30