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"My childhood ended with my mom's incarceration": Adolescent children of incarcerated parents
Hernandez, Denise Aseyadet
Min Choi, JungHernandez, Roberto D.
The purpose of this thesis is to document the experiences of children with incarcerated parents, highlight the challenges they face, and explore potential directions to alleviate the effects of parental incarceration. I provide the historical context of unequal incarceration and rising incarceration rates resulting in increasing rates of parental incarceration. I use attachment theory and conflict theory to frame my findings. Then I discuss the literature on parental incarceration and how this study will fill sociological knowledge gaps on this issue. To examine how adolescent children of the incarcerated perceive their experiences, I used qualitative methods by conducting 10 in-depth interviews with adolescents, ages 16-18, with incarcerated parents, and examine common themes. I found adolescent children of incarcerated parents have various emotions to being separated from their parents, face economic consequences such as housing instability, lose social capital, and, as a result, may face difficulties in educational attainment. These effects of parental incarceration ultimately contribute to intergenerational inequalities.
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2018
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