Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Patricia S. Dixon, PsyD

Second Advisor

Sierra Iwanicki, PhD


This empirical study assessed the impact of incarceration on an individual’s attachment style and explored protective factors that moderate these overall outcomes. The study sought to answer the following questions: (a) Are there differences related to the gender of Black participants and the gender of their incarcerated parent? and (b) Will affective expression and/or sense of community serve as protective factors and mediate the attachment style of Black individuals who have been incarcerated? The sample consisted of 98 adults (45 of whom indicated being a part of the transgenerational cycle of prison) ranging from 18 to 68 years old. Participants were instructed to complete the Sense of Community Index, Affective Style Questionnaire, and Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) three- category Attachment Measure. Data were analyzed using chi-square, Fisher’s exact test, and multinomial logistic regression analyses. Results found relationships between gender and attachment style, age and attachment style, and particular affective expression styles and gender, but overall results did not support the hypotheses. It is believed, in the future, with a larger sample size, results may potentially show more statistical significance. Implications for these results, as well as possible future directions, are discussed.