Mentoring Interventions for Children of Incarcerated Parents

  • Matthew A. HaglerEmail author
  • Liza Zwiebach
  • Jean E. Rhodes
  • Catherine Dun Rappaport


This chapter discusses the significant challenges facing children of incarcerated parents and how mentoring might be an important prevention and growth-promoting intervention for these vulnerable youth. We review existing literature on mentoring in general, and for children of incarcerated parents, specifically, highlighting methodological limitations, gaps in knowledge, and directions for future research. We then identify potential enhancements and innovations for mentoring programs to better serve children of prisoners. We also caution researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from viewing mentoring as the panacea for the complex web of problems facing children and families of incarcerated parents, as well as society as a whole. If accompanied by tangible movements toward judicial and socioeconomic reform on a societal scale, and a focus on addressing the particular challenges facing a given family, mentoring has the potential to contribute to positive outcomes for children impacted by parental incarceration.


Child Evaluation Family Incarceration Incarcerated parent Intervention Mentee Mentor Mentoring Prevention Prisoner Program evaluation Research Youth 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew A. Hagler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liza Zwiebach
    • 2
  • Jean E. Rhodes
    • 1
  • Catherine Dun Rappaport
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University School of MedicineTuckerUSA
  3. 3.BlueHub CapitalBostonUSA

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