First Advisor

Laura Hickman

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Incarcerated, Letters, Phone calls, Children of prisoners -- Research, Prisoners' families -- Effect of imprisonment on, Communication in families -- Research



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 67 pages)


The number of children in the United States with an incarcerated parent continues to rise. Currently, more than 1.7 million children have at least one incarcerated parent. In addition, research has found that children with criminally involved parents are at a higher risk of also becoming offenders (Glaze & Maruschak, 2010). Research has shown that incarcerated parents' abilities to maintain communication with their children may decrease negative behaviors while incarcerated and may decrease the negative effects of being removed from their families. The current study utilizes secondary data to explore the types of communication incarcerated parents use in order to stay connected with their children. The goal is to understand gendered differences regarding how incarcerated mothers versus incarcerated fathers choose to communicate with their children, and to understand which forms of communication (letter writing, face to face visits, and phone calls) are utilized most often by incarcerated parents to maintain and strengthen the bonds with their children. Logistic Regressions identified that incarcerated mothers are more likely to have at least one visit, phone call, and will utilize more forms of communication in a month's time, with their children. These findings both support and contradict previous studies. Implications of the findings and further suggestions are discussed.


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Hatfield School of Government. Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Criminology Commons