Incarceration and the Family: A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families. 5.6 Research Limitations


Further empirical research is needed to understand how reentry affects the partner relationship and vice versa. Although quite informative, the limited research on this topic is predominantly qualitative and based on small, nonrepresentative samples. Although some quantitative research has focused on the protective role of family on the ex-offender, research has neglected to examine how the released offender’s attempts to reintegrate affect his partner, children, and family system. It is especially important to determine how and when conflict escalates to violence and what interventions and system changes are needed to protect women and children. Research that examines constructs known to affect marital/partner resilience such as conflict resolution, anger management, power/control, and social support need to be examined using validated scales to compare patterns across families with and without an ex-offender. Furthermore, longitudinal research is needed to examine how relationships change over time in order to identify key transitional points and mechanisms for intervention.

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