Abstract: Examining the Social and Emotional Development of Children of Incarcerated Mothers

Hello! My name is Amna Baloul and I am a freshman planning to major in Kinesiology and Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health. This summer, I will be a research assistant in Professor Dallaire’s Healthy Beginnings Lab.

Specifically, my research project will explore the heightened risks associated with the social and emotional development of children of incarcerated mothers. Presently, maternal incarceration is a prevailing issue and is progressing at a rapid rate. Mothers often serve a profound and unique role in providing a sense of security for their children, separate from fathers, caregivers, grandmothers, or other guardians who may assist in raising the child. Thus, the children of incarcerated mothers are exposed to a higher risk of detrimental effects on their social and emotional well-being, yet their needs have not been widely addressed by child welfare systems. Through extensive literature review and an examination of qualitative as well as quantitative measures, I will research a range of the adverse developmental effects which these children often face. More importantly, I will propose methods to better address and support the emotional needs of the children of incarcerated mothers.