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Characteristics of incarcerated fathers and mothers: Implications for preventive interventions targeting children and families

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  • Kjellstrand, Jean M.
  • Cearley, Jennifer
  • Eddy, J. Mark
  • Foney, Dana
  • Martinez, Charles R.

Abstract

The number of children of incarcerated parents in the U.S. has grown dramatically in recent years. These children appear to be at risk for various problems, and a number of family-focused preventive efforts have been attempted. The current study examines differences between incarcerated mothers, incarcerated fathers, and their families on factors that might be important to consider when creating the content and process of preventive intervention programs. Participants were 359 inmates (54% women; 41% minority) who were parents of children between the ages of 3 and 11years and who parented their children prior to imprisonment. Mothers and fathers were similar on a number of dimensions including age, education-level, number and age of children, and family criminal history, but differences were observed on key variables relevant to outcomes for children and families, including employment history and income, substance use, mental health, trauma experiences and criminal history. Implications for prevention programs are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kjellstrand, Jean M. & Cearley, Jennifer & Eddy, J. Mark & Foney, Dana & Martinez, Charles R., 2012. "Characteristics of incarcerated fathers and mothers: Implications for preventive interventions targeting children and families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2409-2415.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:12:p:2409-2415
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.08.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nesmith, Ande & Ruhland, Ebony, 2008. "Children of incarcerated parents: Challenges and resiliency, in their own words," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1119-1130, October.
    2. Palusci, Vincent J. & Crum, Pat & Bliss, Rosalynn & Bavolek, Stephen J., 2008. "Changes in parenting attitudes and knowledge among inmates and other at-risk populations after a family nurturing program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 79-89, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miller, Alison L. & Weston, Lauren E. & Perryman, Jamie & Horwitz, Talia & Franzen, Susan & Cochran, Shirley, 2014. "Parenting While Incarcerated: Tailoring the Strengthening Families Program for use with jailed mothers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 163-170.

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