Quality & Quantity

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 2447–2461 | Cite as

Mother–child interaction: a qualitative investigation of imprisoned mothers

  • Nahid Rahimipour Anaraki
  • Dariush Boostani


In many countries, babies born to women in prison stay in prison with their mother and very young children may accompany their mothers in prison. Among these countries, Iran is one of those we do not have enough information about its prisoners especially mothers who have child(ren). This study aims to investigate imprisoned mother–child interaction by a qualitative method, Grounded Theory, in Iran. Two main questions of this research are: how is the interaction of mother–child in prison? What are the consequences of this interaction? Participants of this study comprised of 14 imprisoned mothers who were on leave, Iran. Being a mother and living with a child was the criterion of selecting the participants. All of the participants were in a separated unit. Data analysis yielded six categories and a core category. The categories are: “child as an emotional support of the mother; child as centre, prison as periphery; hope and will to favored future; mother unit as a family; rehabilitation; the other side of the coin: perceived risk for children.” Core category of the study is “imprisoned mother–child interactions: learning to live by hope and fear.”


Mother Child Prison Interaction Grounded Theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Sciences DepartmentShahid Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran
  2. 2.Sociological Research Group of Rural-Urban StudiesKermanIran

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