Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Center for Public Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Mary J. Clement


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of parenting training on the acquisition of parenting skills and its impact on self-esteem of incarcerated mothers. The program under study is the "Mothers Inside Loving Kids" (M.I.L.K.) program, which is a holistic training/visitation program designed for incarcerated mothers.Study participants included 40 volunteer incarcerated mothers at the Virginia Correctional Center for women. The treatment group consisted of 20 participants who were already involved in the "M.I.L.K." program. The comparison group was made up of 20 mothers who were on the waiting list for the program due to the lack of space. All participants were administered a battery of pre-tests and post-tests. Instruments utilized for the study included the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI), the Nurturing Quiz, the Index of Self Esteem (ISE), and a participant satisfaction survey.Bivariate analyses were used to test the difference between pre-test and post-test mean scores. Both parametric and non-parametric tests were conducted to determine if change scores revealed significant differences. Using independent t-tests to determine if there were significant differences between treatment and comparison groups on change scores, no significant differences were noted. However, in reviewing the direction of change scores for the two groups, the treatment group did show changes in the desired direction in four areas. Specifically, positive directional change occurred on the "Lack of Empathy for the Child" sub-scale, the "Belief in Corporal Punishment" sub-scale, the "Reversing Family Roles" sub-scale, and on the "Nurturing Quiz."Using the Wilcoxon non-parametric test, one measure revealed statistically significant differences between pre-test and post-test scores. Specifically, participants in the treatment group revealed significantly higher scores on the "Nurturing Quiz" at post-testing from pre-testing (z = -2.81, p = .005). This indicates an overall increase in knowledge about positive child management techniques. No significant pre-test to post-test differences were noted in any of the remaining areas under study. However, positive directional change scores were noted in the three different areas of "Inappropriate Expectations of the Child", "Nurturing", and "Self-Esteem."Overall, the findings suggest that the M.I.L.K. Program training positively impacts parenting techniques. Self-esteem appears more difficult to impact.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008