Health Opportunity for Mother and Child Emotion Function (HOME)

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

Project developed and piloted an emotion-focused intervention to support incarcerated mothers as they leave prison and reunite with their children in the community

Project Overview

The substantial number of parents incarcerated in the criminal justice system has resulted in increased attention to the enormous challenges faced by their children, now numbering over two million. Risk factors associated with incarceration include disruption of parent-child relationships, transitions in living arrangements, financial and other stressors on caregivers, emotional distress, and increased likelihood of behavioral and emotional disorders. Though there is evidence that the impact of parent criminality on child maladjustment can be mediated by parenting practices, there are few programs to promote positive parenting or support the reunification of incarcerated parents and their children after prison. The goals of this project were to develop and pilot a translational multimodal emotion-focused intervention program to improve mothers’ and children’s emotion regulation as well as mothers’ emotion coaching skills in order to facilitate a successful family reunification and promote positive adjustment in a vulnerable population of children.

Year Project Began: 2008
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health

Principal Investigator

Joann Wu Shortt, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Shortt received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She researches how relationships and emotions shape our development across the life span. Her research has public health significance and the potential to decrease the impact of risk factors on the lives of young people and their families. She utilizes observational and physiological methodology to understand interactional processes at work in predicting child/adolescent/adult adjustment and relationship outcomes including intimate partner violence. She also has expertise in longitudinal design, developing measures and interventions, and multivariate analysis.