Coming home: Fatherhood following release from prison

Ricky Finzi-Dottan, Helya Shraybom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The present study aimed to assess the uniqueness of released prisoners’ paternal practice – their involvement in child rearing, as well as their affection toward and acceptance of their children – and its predictors by comparing them to control fathers who have never been arrested or imprisoned. Fifty-five married released prisoner fathers, and 55 control fathers completed the study questionnaires between September 2017 and April 2018. The predictors examined were: fathers’ narcissistic traits; perceived paternal competence; and spousal support. A comparison between the two groups revealed that released prisoners reported greater spousal support and lower acceptance of their children than control fathers. The interactions underscored the uniqueness of released prisoner fathers’ personality predictors, namely narcissistic traits: unlike the control fathers, the greater the narcissistic traits were, the less was their acceptance of and involvement with their children; and the higher the released prisoners' perceived paternal competence, the higher their involvement. The study further suggests that low spousal support contributed more to paternal involvement among fathers with high narcissistic traits. The results warrant an intervention while fathers are incarcerated, during which their paternity be strengthened, and their bond with their children preserved. Family interventions upon fathers' reentry may also lend support to paternal practice, as well as to released prisoner fathers' relationships with their spouse/co-parent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104539
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Father acceptance
  • Narcissistic traits
  • Paternal competence
  • Paternal involvement
  • Spousal support


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