Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Rudd, Jill

Subject Headings

Women prisoners -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Children of women prisoners -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Separation (Psychology), Mother and child, Prisoners -- Family relationships, Communication in families, Interpersonal relations, Incarcerated mothers, interpersonal skill deficiency model, conflict, parenting, verbal aggressive messages, parenting style, socio-communicative style, attitudes toward parenting


The separation and re-unification of the mother and child requires the attention of scholars. Re-establishing a relationship with his or her mother alleviates the threat of the consequences that a child experiences when his or her mother is incarcerated. Fifty three incarcerated mothers were interviewed on their communication with their children while separated. A content analysis was used to gain insight on the types of conflict, conflict strategies, conflict styles, and cause of conflict. Using an interpersonal skill deficiency model this study found that there was a difference between conflicts described as ending negatively and conflicts described as ending positively. During conflicts that ended negatively, incarcerated mothers used less strategies and conflict styles indicating a lack of constructive skills during times of frustration and anger. Relationships were also found between incarcerated mothers' attitudes toward parenting and verbal aggressive messages, parenting style and incarcerated mothers' attitudes toward parenting, and verbal aggressive messages and incarcerated mothers' socio-communicative style. By giving incarcerated mothers competent and constructive skills to deal with conflict management, especially the conflict topic of incarceration, the mother-child relationship may be strengthened

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Communication Commons