Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study sought to examine whether in-person visitation with incarcerated fathers related to less behavioral problems among children in foster care. The sample consisted of 282 youth (M = 10.18, SD = 2.36 years). Data were collected from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling revealed paternal incarceration was associated with increased externalizing slope trajectories (ß1515 = .18, p = .025), but not internalizing. African American youth had lower externalizing slope trajectories compared to the remainder of the sample (ß20 = -.14, p = .032). The association between paternal incarceration and externalizing was attenuated among youth who visited fathers (ß5 = -.17, p = .008). Findings suggest paternal incarceration is associated with externalizing behaviors among youth in foster care, and visitation may be protective. In addition, African American youth appear more resilient in the face of paternal incarceration compared to youth of other backgrounds.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.