Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Narratives of human agency among low income incarcerated fathers: A qualitative study
by Fang, Jennifer Jing, M.S., University of Maryland, College Park, 2012, 135; 1529310
Abstract (Summary)

Prior literature has focused on studying low income or incarcerated fathers from a deficit perspective. For example, there is ample evidence showing that high risk behaviors are associated with children who have non-custodial fathers and about mothers' perspectives on father absence. However, there is still a lack of literature about how these fathers experience agency to take control and make change in their lives in spite of the barriers they face. I conduct a secondary analysis of life history interviews of 40 fathers in a work release program. The theoretical framework that guides this study is narrative inquiry, using sensitizing concepts from McAdams' (2001) four themes of agency: self mastery, status/victory, achievement/responsibility, and empowerment. Out of McAdams' four themes, self mastery and achievement/responsibility were the most prominent themes of agency. Additional emergent themes of agency are found in fathers' life history narratives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roy, Kevin
Commitee: Anderson, Elaine, Epstein, Norman
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Family Studies
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: MAI 51/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Counseling Psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Agency, Efficacy, Father, Incarcerated, Narrative
Publication Number: 1529310
ISBN: 978-1-267-71842-6
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