Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Danielle Dallaire

Committee Members

Janice Zeman

Ashleigh Everhardt Queen


Children with a parent incarcerated are exposed to many risk factors that can have a negative impact on developmental outcomes. This study aimed to explore the relation between parental incarceration and the development of self-perception and highlight the importance of school programming for this population of children. Participants for this study (n = 125) were recruited through Milk & Cookies (MAC), a school program developed by Assisting Families of Inmates to help elementary-aged children with a parent incarcerated in Richmond, VA. Data was collected for third through fifth graders using Harter’s Self Perception Profile for Children and for kindergarten through second grade using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the relation between age and gender for each subscale. Next, we used a paired sample t test to examine differences in self-perception scores between T1 and T2. Finally, t tests examined differences among our sample and both Harter’s published means and two high-risk youth populations. Results indicated that social competence for third through fifth graders was higher at T2 (t(50) = -2.89, p = 0.006), which shows an increase in positive self-perception scores after completing MAC. Additionally, our scores were typically lower than Harter’s published means and showed no significant differences when compared to other at-risk populations. This study provides insight into the benefit of school programming for children with a parent incarcerated and highlights the need for further research on self-perception among this population of children.

On-Campus Access Only