Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This project examines the ways that incarceration can shape the meaning and performance of fatherhood. Using 109 surveys and 30 in-depth interviews, three dominant themes emerged that constitute a model father identity standard: 1) being there for their children; 2) being an example for their children; and 3) providing their children with love, basic needs, and protection. The findings indicate that prison environment and post-incarceration restrictions do not support fathers’ ability to perform their roles as fathers, or the maintenance of healthy relationships between fathers and their children. Specifically, it disrupts the father identity confirmation process. As a result, relational strain occurs, causing excessive and at times irreparable damage to fathers and their children.

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Creative Commons License
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Sociology Commons