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InsideOut Dad®- Examining the Outcomes of the InsideOut Dad Fatherhood Education Program With Incarcerated Minority Fathers (2020)

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Examining the Outcomes of the InsideOut Dad Fatherhood Education Program for Incarcerated Minority Fathers Joshua J. Turner 1 , Kay Bradford 1 , Brian J. Higginbotham 1 , and Andrea Coppin 1 Abstract Using a mixed-methods approach, this study examined the outcomes and experiences of incarcerated minority fathers (N ¼ 713) who participated in InsideOut Dad, a widely used, corrections-based fatherhood education program. Quantitative analyses indi- cated decreases in partner conflict among participants and more positive perceptions of subjective well-being. Qualitative analyses revealed that the program was positively received, with participants noting the skills they developed. As a result of fatherhood education, incarcerated minority fathers reported being empowered and more confident in their roles as fathers and that they learned needed skills to be responsible and responsive fathers. Such findings may inform facilitators of corrections-based parenting programs on best practices for serving incarcerated fathers from historically underserved groups. Keywords marginalized, minority, mixed-method evaluation, fatherhood education, phenomenology, father–child relations, partner conflict The increase in incarcerated parents in the United States has coincided with the broader implementation of fatherhood edu- cation programs in correctional settings (Armstrong et al., 2018; Loper & Tuerk, 2006). Fatherhood education in correc- tional settings addresses the negative impact of incarceration on children and families while attempting to equip fathers with skills to avoid recidivism (Buston et al., 2012). Minority men are disproportionately represented in the correctional system (Sakala, 2014). An estimated 40% of incarcerated fathers are Black/African American, while approximately 20% are Latino (Glaze & Maruschak, 2010). These rates are particularly trou- bling considering the increased likelihood that children of incarcerated parents will drop out of school (Aaron & Dallaire, 2010), have emotional problems (Chung, 2011), and be more prone to engage in deviant activity (Purvis, 2013). Scholars have noted an ongoing need for the evaluation of fatherhood education programs, particularly among nonmajor- ity fathers (Holmes et al., 2020). Through mixed-methods anal- ysis, the current study uses a family systems approach to examine the outcomes of InsideOut Dad (Brown et al., 2018), a corrections-based fatherhood education program. The current study examines the applicability of this program for minority fathers as well as the changes reported between pro- gram entry and exit in terms of father–child relationship qual- ity, frequency of partner conflict, and key determinants of subjective well-being (i.e., self-reported psychological distress and perceived social support). The current study also qualita- tively examines the experiences of participants, and the skills fathers attributed to their participation. Exploring the perspec- tives of participating minority fathers may help to illustrate best practices for serving incarcerated minority fathers. Literature Review General Fatherhood Education Fatherhood education has received steady federal funding for a decade (Tollestrup, 2018). Evaluations of community-based fatherhood education have found programs to be effective in increasing positive father involvement, improving father–child and spousal relations, and helping fathers enhance economic stability (Avellar et al., 2018; Concha et al., 2016; Dion et al., 2015; Fagan & Kaufman, 2015; Frank et al., 2015). Recent meta- analytic data (Holmes et al., 2020) show modest effect sizes of programs on father involvement (d ¼ .114, p < .05), parenting, (d ¼ .110, p < .01), and coparenting (d ¼ .167, p < .05). 1 Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA Corresponding Author: Joshua J. Turner, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Utah State University, 2705 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA. Email: The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 1-11 ª The Author(s) 2020 Article reuse guidelines: DOI: 10.1177/1066480720978541

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