Principal Investigator: Darlene Grant, Ph.D.
Empirical as well as anecdotal/qualitative data from Year III of the Enterprising Girls Scouts Beyond Bars program, the Lonestar Texas Council, in Austin, Texas, supports the contention in the literature that efforts to assist incarcerated mothers and their children in parenting and relationship building prior to release has a positive effect on both children and mothers. Program evaluation findings from two cohorts of participants show a modest improvement in the relationship between girls’ attitude toward their mothers and girls’ self esteem, providing validation of the discussion of the impact of parental incarceration on the children found in the literature. Evaluation findings suggest that mothers who have positive attitudes towards parenting/their daughters have higher levels of self esteem, and mothers who have less positive attitudes towards parenting/their daughters have lower levels of self esteem. Finally, there is evidence that there is a correlation between girls’ attitude toward their incarcerated mothers and girls’ self esteem, and that there was a significant change in girls’ attitude toward their mothers after a year of program involvement.
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Lone Star Girl Scout Council
Keywords: child welfare, families, children, youth