The Value of Fathering for Incarcerated Offenders: Implementing the “Parents as Teachers” Curriculum in Greene County, Missouri

Aida Hass-Wisecup, Erin Kenny, Kayleb Adams-Derousse


Research literature demonstrates the positive contributions of a nurturing father in the lives of young people as well as the reduction of recidivism for active fathers. The current study provides support for this model by highlighting the need for programming that enhances the relationship between incarcerated fathers and their children during their period of absence and while transitioning back into society and their family roles. The authors observed a parenting education program for incarcerated fathers twice weekly for a period of twelve weeks. The research noted three promising themes in the programming which could be expanded and implemented in other facilities. Fathers sought to improve their capacity to engage in “intentional conversations,” where they learned about modeling desirable behavior, being honest, and avoiding giving children mixed messages. Fathers also began the uncomfortable process of unpacking their own childhoods and overcoming poor parental models as they realized that “parenting makes a difference.” Through the program, fathers were encouraged to develop a “toolkit” of more positive parenting responsibilities and responses. Finally, fathers were introduced to the idea of “healthy relationships,” including creating strong boundaries and new types of relationship knowledge.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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