Date of Conferral





Human Services


James D. Castleberry


Approximately half of all incarcerated individuals in the United States are young African American men. Researchers have documented that nonincarcerated siblings may commit a crime when their sibling is in prison. The current study addressed literature regarding the experiences, and coping strategies of nonincarcerated young African American men who live in the inner city, and have a male sibling in prison. Guided by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, this interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study explored the lived experiences and coping strategies of African

American male youth with a brother in incarceration. Purposive sampling was used to select 3 nonincarcerated African American young men aged 18 to 24 years living in the inner city of a large city in southern Connecticut for in-depth interviews. Overall findings showed that while having an incarcerated sibling was a profoundly negative experience for study participants, and their families, the study participants also developed some positive coping strategies as a result of their experiences. These results could help policymakers, social workers, counselors, and criminal justice professionals understand the impacts of sibling incarceration, and learn how to deal more effectively with youth affected by it.