Date of Conferral
For many American families, incarceration has become a way of life. Per the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated, there are more than 2.7 million children who have a parent in prison and some may have one or both in county jail. There are psychological implications in terms of the child's well-being, behavioral, academic, and emotional outcomes, and family-level processes. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the impact that a parent's incarceration has on a child even through adulthood. The research question examined how a parent's incarceration impacts the future of the child into adulthood. Data were collected for this study through interviews with 12 adults who had a parent who had been or; in many cases was still incarcerated. The findings indicated that there is a significant impact on children when a parent is incarcerated and that as a result, children may exhibit externalizing behaviors such as anger, aggression, and hostility towards others. The results of the study may inform social workers and others who serve this population.