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"A Thematic Analysis of Parenting Experiences of Women in Prison" (Pious Maedzenge and Dawn Beichner-Thomas): Review 1

Published onApr 16, 2023
"A Thematic Analysis of Parenting Experiences of Women in Prison" (Pious Maedzenge and Dawn Beichner-Thomas): Review 1

Vote: Publish pending minor changes/Publish pending major changes.

This paper explores important issues in the literature pertaining to the experience of incarceration for mothers.  The research undertaken appears to be thorough and methodologically sound.  Some edits could further improve this paper and strengthen it for publication. (See below for more specific comments.)  Overall, it is clear the paper has been adequately researched, well thought out, and adds to the literature on incarcerated mothers.  Of note, being able to share more of mothers’ perspectives is of great value to disseminate among academic circles and beyond.  I enjoyed reading this paper and am happy to know the literature on its topics is expanding!

The following two comments would make this vote a (3)…but I also believe that with some minor edits (below) and exploring the following two comments on a smaller level, along with considering other reviewers’ comments and suggestions, a vote of (2) would also be appropriate. 

·      The theoretical framework includes three interconnected but distinct theories.  The Theoretical Framework section is only three paragraphs, and if these are the underpinnings for analyses, perhaps they warrant more in-depth discussion.  This could help strengthen the discussion to more deeply tie findings to the conclusion.

·      In terms of the analyses, also somewhat related to needing to connect to three large theoretical traditions, it seems like a lot is being done with a small amount of space.  Clearly, there is an abundance of rich data to share.  But having three theories and four emerging themes, each with three manifestations is A LOT of information to convey in a single article.  The quotes included are meaningful, but (particularly given the “narrative” nature of the study) longer quotes could add to the richness of the findings and analyses.  I am wondering if this manuscript could become multiple manuscripts, with each focusing more on one theory or theme for the analyses of data to be expanded and the discussion lengthened. 

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