Recent Developments for the COPING Research Project

Categories: COPING Project News

14th October 2011

COPING is a child-centred research project which aims to investigate the characteristics of children with imprisoned parents, their resilience, and their vulnerability to mental health problems.

Launched in January 2010 the study covers four countries (UK, Germany, Sweden and Romania)and includes two umbrella organisations (one in Switzerland, the other in France) which each have specific roles in policy-impact as well as awareness-raising. The research findings are expected to have European-wide and international application.

The COPING research strategy’s innovative approach places the clearest emphasis on knowledge obtained directly from children and young people. To date, a total of 1040 questionnaires have been conducted throughout the four nations.

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale are used to ascertain coping strategies and mental health problems for these young people; results are subsequently compared with normative population samples. Smaller groups of children and parents have been involved in qualitative interviews to explore the impact of parental imprisonment and support services available in greater detail. Further available intervention services to support these families is being mapped by the EUROCHIPS team.

The COPING project has been successfully interviewing and mapping available services to these children and their families. As the research progresses, these findings will be turned into publications, used for policy-reform initiatives, and used for training purposes regarding prison-staff, school-staff, guardians and mental-health professionals dealing with children with imprisoned parents.

For more information about the project please visit the project website or send an e-mail to Vikki Raistrick at

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Author: rmchristen