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This qualitative phenomenological study observes the lives of individuals who have experienced parental incarceration. Common factors among the accounts of participants were analyzed to determine risks associated with parental incarceration and potential sources of intervention. Previous research indicates physical and psychological risks associated with parental incarceration and mentions academic resilience and social support as effective interventions in overcoming negative effects for children. The researcher conducted interviews with college students who had experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. The results of the study indicated that children have the ability to overcome past adversities through resilience and the pursuit of future aspirations. The study also showed the incorporation of social support to be a potential positive influencer and motivator for children of incarcerated parents. Recommendations for future research include obtaining a larger sample size of students, incorporating greater cultural diversity, including socioeconomic status and age of the participants as variables, and comparing the effects of paternal and maternal incarceration.


Angela L. Watson, PhD, research advisor

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Psychology Commons



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