Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


A child’s educational fulfillment is often supported by the stability of parents being present in a child’s life. Children’s academic learning can be reinforced by parents taking an active role in promoting their child’s education. When a parent is incarcerated, the child can be left without a support person for their academic success. This may lead to behavior problems in school and the increased chance at academic failure and grade retention. The separation of a parent in a child’s early education years may have effects that last into adulthood and set the stage for intergenerational incarceration. This study examined teachers’ perceptions of children’s academic experiences after parental incarceration by surveying teachers in early education grades (preschool through third grade) and interviewing one teacher regarding her experiences teaching students with an incarcerated parent. This study found that teachers with students who have an incarcerated parent felt that children need support from their teacher when it came to children expressing their feelings, and teachers’ opinions differed on whether continued communication with the incarcerated parent on educational matters was beneficial. Children with incarcerated parents need emotional support from their teacher; therefore, teachers need training on how best to support students navigating parental incarceration.


parental incarceration, academics, learning, success, grade retention, school, early education

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Education


© Amber L. Hooper

Open Access