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The development of the mother-baby bond in the Brazilian prison system

Grant number: 21/03046-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal researcher:Sabrina Mazo D Affonseca
Grantee:Camila Casé da Costa
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In Brazil, with the increase of the female prison population by 267.8%, over almost twenty years, questions arise about the particularities of this public and what involves the lives of women in prison. One of them is motherhood, since more than half of them have children and this implies, in most cases, separation and bond breaking. Outside prison bars, mothers are most often configured as primary caregivers and their absence weakens family relationships; inside them, there are lonely mothers, with ambivalent and guilty feelings, and who may also be, for a short time, in the presence of a baby, whether during pregnancy or postpartum, experiencing a hyperbolic version of the motherhood. Given this, it is intended to investigate the experience of becoming a mother behind bars and to analyze the variables involved in the process of gestating, giving birth and living with the child in this environment, such as its implications for the formation of the mother-baby bond. Three women in prision will be selected for the study, in a penitentiary in a city in the interior of the state of São Paulo, and two interviews will be conducted, one during pregnancy and one in the postpartum period, in addition to the application of two other instruments (Five Fields Map and Questionnaire on Burdening Experiences). Through the analysis and triangulation of the data obtained, it is expected to produce scientific knowledge about the theme of motherhood in Brazilian prisons that contributes to proposals for interventions with this target audience.

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