Date of Conferral







Eric Hickey


The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) accumulates annual data from state department of corrections. The information that the BJS accumulates annually is relevant to this study because it shows the possibility of the many African American women as well as other women in need of assistance while their loved one is incarcerated. The purpose of this study was to explore lived experiences of African American women involved with an incarcerated spouse, partner, or mate. The focal point of interest was how lived experiences affect African American women's physical and psychological well-being. The theoretical framework for this study comprised both the resilience theory and Bandura's self-efficacy theory. The research question that guided this study was: What are the significant experiences acquired during the incarceration process of the spouse, partner, or mate? Data were collected using semi structured interviews conducted with African American women over the age of 18 from a metropolitan city in the northeastern United States with incarcerated spouses, partners, or mates. NVivo software was used to find emergent themes from the data. The conclusions from the research, has endorsed positive social change by enlightening the helping professional. There are psychological implications that these women encountered during their lived experiences such as anxiety disorder, depression, trauma, stigma and shame, as well as criminality by association by staying in the relationship. The community should sustain these anguished women and be a factor in their well-being during the incarceration of their spouses, partners, or mates, as well as guiding them through the penal system via a resource center.