Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



Social Work and Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Tiffanie-Victoria Jones


This study examined the impact incarceration poses on the family's mental health status. The study was conducted using cross-sectional design. The sample, which was selected using convenience sampling method, included 30 participants who are over 18 years old and identified as having an incarcerated family member. The current study sought to determine two things: (1) if family members had higher levels of discontentment or mental distress due to their loved one's incarceration and (2) the impact of the loved one's sentence length on the family member's mental health status. Results indicated that levels of mental distress were higher in nieces and/or nephews than their levels of discontentment. Results also revealed the longer the sentence length, the higher the levels of discontentment and mental distress of their family member. Furthermore, limitations and implication will be presented.