The Unequal Intergenerational Consequences of Paternal Incarceration: Considering Sensitive Periods, Resiliency, and Mechanisms

What are the consequences of paternal incarceration on children’s well-being?

A growing research literature finds that paternal incarceration has deleterious consequences on the well-being of children and adolescents. To fully understand these consequences, and to design effective interventions, it is useful to know when paternal incarceration is most consequential, which children are most affected by paternal incarceration, and how paternal incarceration matters for children’s well-being. This study will investigate the inter-generational consequences of paternal incarceration during childhood and adolescence. Drawing on both primary (longitudinal in-depth interviews with 120 incarcerated fathers, mothers, and children) and secondary (Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort:2010-2011) data, Turney will document (1) how long the consequences of paternal incarceration last, (2) for whom paternal incarceration is most consequential, and (3) the mechanisms through which paternal incarceration is consequential. These results will elucidate the complex and countervailing ways that paternal incarceration contributes to the transmission of inequality across generations and how these inequalities can be diminished.

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