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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber Kinser

Committee Members

Wesley Buerkle, Andrew Herrmann


This research examines the effects of maternal incarceration in the United States with a specific focus on the short- and long-term risks to which children are exposed when they live with their mothers pre-incarceration. It synthesizes the pre-existing body of research concerning the effects of maternal incarceration and places it in dialogue with the author’s unfolding personal narrative—a story of resilience. Employing an autoethnographic approach and analyses of the letters her mother wrote to her while in a state penitentiary, the author examines her own life relative to the relational communication patterns between her and her mother before, during, and after her mother’s incarceration.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.