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This literature review will evaluate the extent to which parental incarceration impacts children’s mental health and educational success and how these effects differ by race and gender. An introductory section will be followed by definitions of mental health, educational success, race, and gender as they appear in the literature. My discussion on mental health will focus on how parental incarceration places children at greater risk for poor mental health outcomes and how young boys and girls exhibit different mental health problems after experiencing parental incarceration. My discussion on educational success will focus on how parental incarceration is associated with children’s poor educational success and how these effects are felt disproportionately by black children and boys. Following the conclusion of my review of the literature, I will assess the limitations of the literature and discuss the potential for future research.



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