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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Parenting Roles And Experiences Of Abuse In Women Offenders: Review Of The Offender Intake Assessments

Age and number of children

Table 2 shows the proportion of women who had at least one child in a particular age group. In order to allow for comparison, specific age groups that were used here were those presented in the Survey. However, it should be noted that the Survey did not provide a precise description of the categories "with at least one child 5 and under and not adopted" and "with at least one child 16 and under and not adopted." Therefore, it is not clear whether all women who had only children 5 years old or younger, were also subsumed under the category "with at least one child 16 and under and not adopted" since the categories are not mutually exclusive. It is assumed for the present analyses, however, that the categories were intended to be mutually exclusive, given that otherwise, the category of women with at least one child 5 years old or younger would be redundant. In the OIAs Review, therefore, if a woman had one or more children aged 5 or under, she was placed only in the category of women "with at least one child 5 and under and not adopted."

Table 2

Number of Women with Children According to Children's Ages

   

Survey of FSW

(N=169)a

OIAs Review

(N=351)b

 

n

%

n

%

Women with at least one child 5 or under & not adopted

41

(24.2)

112

(31.9)

Women with at least one child 16 or under & not adopted

81

(47.9)

148

(42.2)

Women with all children 17 and older

20

(11.8)

35

(10.0)

Note. In the first two categories, a woman may be represented more than once.

a In the Survey, information for 1 woman was missing.

b In the OIAs Review, information for 75 women was missing: for 49 women, information on all of their children's ages was missing, and for 26 women, there was no information on whether they had children.

There was no significant difference [(_2 (1, N = 521) = 3.74, n.s.)] between the proportion of women who had at least one child 5 or under and not adopted in the Survey (47.9%) and in the OIAs Review (42.2%). Similarly, the two samples did not differ [(_2 (1, N = 521) = 1.18, n.s.)] in regards to the proportion of women who had at least one child 16 or under and not adopted. Given that the main interest was to explore the proportion of women with at least one minor child, the between-group difference was not tested in respect to the number of women whose children were all 17 or older. Information was missing for 17.6% of women in the OIAs Review study (N=75), and for that reason the proportion of women who had at least one child in a particular age group, as presented in Table 2, represents an approximation of the true value.

Table 3 shows the total number of children for women in both samples. It is clear that most of the women who were mothers had more than one child. In many instances, their children were of different age groups and for that reason a number of women are represented more than once in Table 3.

Table 3

Number of Children

   

Survey of FSW

(N=168)a

OIAs Review

(N=383)b

 

n

%

n

%

0

60

(35.7)

75

(19.6)

1

31

(18.5)

78

(20.4)

2

37

(22.0)

94

(24.5)

3

18

(10.7)

69

(18.0)

4

10

(5.9)

35

(9.1)

5

10

(5.9)

20

(5.2)

6 and more

2

(1.2)

12

(3.1)

Note. a In the Survey information for 2 women was missing: for one woman there was no information whether she had children, and for another one, information on the number of children she had was missing.

b In the OIAs Review, information for 43 women was missing: whether a woman had children was not available for 26, and for 17, there was no information on the number of children.