Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Apryl A. Alexander

Second Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Third Advisor

Sheila Stanley


Adverse childhood experiences, Benevolent childhood experiences, Children of incarcerated parents, Parental incarceration, Stigma, Resilience


Mass incarceration is a major issue with rippling effects that impact the incarcerated individuals, their families, and beyond. Existing literature has addressed mass incarceration by focusing on those incarcerated, but little research has examined the needs of their families, particularly their children. Studies estimate that five to eight million children and adolescents have a parent incarcerated (Turney, 2018). The present study is an exploratory study aimed at examining the strengths and needs of children of incarcerated parents (COIP). The current study examines adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and benevolent childhood experiences (BCEs) in COIP. Further, data were collected on stigma and resilience. Results indicated majority of our sample experienced five or more ACEs, which is significantly more than the average experienced by the general population. Higher ACE scores were correlated with poorer adult outcomes, increased likelihood of incarceration, and lowered resilience. Stigma of parental incarceration is a unique, complicated, and significant barrier for COIP that can impact resilience and influence treatment. Findings on BCEs highlighted the importance of feeling connected and cared for. Overall, the risk factors for COIP are complex and varied, but the strengths and resilience of this population should be an equal focus for intervention and policy.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Hailey Allo


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


38 pgs

File Size

858 KB

Available for download on Thursday, July 08, 2027