Families, Children, and Housing

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Page last updated June 10, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.

11. Parental Incarceration and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

"Children exposed to parental incarceration were more likely to have other ACEs than children not exposed to parental incarceration. For example, only 14.3% of children exposed to parental incarceration had no other ACEs, compared to 72.2% of children not exposed to parental incarceration. Further, among children exposed to parental incarceration, about 28.9% experienced one other ACE (compared to 19.4% of children not exposed to parental incarceration), 21.2% experienced two other ACEs (compared to 5.5%), 16.4% experienced three other ACEs (compared to 1.8%), and 19.3% experienced four or more other ACEs (compared to 1.2%).

"Table 2 presents descriptive statistics of ACEs for two groups of children: those who experienced parental incarceration and those who did not experience parental incarceration. Children exposed to parental incarceration had more ACEs than those not exposed to parental incarceration (2.06 compared to 0.41, p < 0.001). Children exposed to parental incarceration were also more likely to report any ACE (85.7% compared to 27.8%, p < 0.001). Children exposed to parental incarceration were nine times more likely to experience household member abuse (31.9% compared to 3.4%, p < 0.001) and violence exposure (20.3% compared to 2.3%, p < 0.001). They were eight times more likely to experience household member substance problems (45.5% compared to 5.8%, p < 0.001); five times more likely to experience parental death (11.8% compared to 2.5%, p < 0.001); and four times more likely to experience household member mental illness (24.1% compared to 6.4%, p < 0.001) and parental divorce or separation (72.7% compared to 20.5%, p < 0.001)."

Kristin Turney, Adverse childhood experiences among children of incarcerated parents, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 89, 2018, Pages 218-225, ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chil....
http://www.sciencedirect.com/s...

12. Prevention and Parental Involvement in the Lives of Teens

"Compared to teens who say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives, teens who say their parents know very little or nothing at all are (Figure B):
"• One and a half times likelier to have used marijuana (21 percent vs. 13 percent); and
"• One and a half times likelier to have used alcohol (40 percent vs. 24 percent)."

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), "The Importance of Family Dinners VIII: A CASAColumbia White Paper," September 2012, p. 20.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad...

13. Estimated Number of Young Adults in the US With a Parent Who Has Ever Spent Time in Jail or Prison

"The prevalence of any PI [Parental Incarceration] was 12.5% with the 95% confidence interval (CI) of 11.3% to 13.8%. The distribution of incarceration status by category was: neither parent (87.5%, 95% CI: 86.2%–88.7%), father only (9.9%, 95% CI: 8.9%–10.9%), mother only (1.7%, 95% CI: 1.4%–2.0%), and both parents (0.9%, 95% CI: 0.7%–1.2%). A significant association was found between race and PI. Black and Hispanic individuals had the highest prevalence of PI, 20.6% and 14.8%, compared with 11.9% for white individuals and 11.6% for those classified as other. Pairwise comparison indicated the black and white prevalence rates were significantly different."

Note: Regarding study sample size: "The current study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a 4-wave longitudinal study following a nationally representative probability sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 in the 1994–1995 school year.46 The first 3 waves of Add Health data were collected from April to December 1995, from April to August 1996, and from August 2001 to April 2002. The fourth wave of data was collected in 2007 and 2008. The full sample for Wave 4 included 15 701 or 80.3% of the eligible participants from Wave 1. The response rates for Waves 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 79.0%, 88.6%, 77.4%, and 80.3%, respectively. The mean ages of participants during the 4 waves of data collection were 15.7 years, 16.2 years, 22.0 years, and 28.8 years, respectively.

"The current study was based on 14,800 participants who were interviewed during Wave 1 and Wave 4 and have a sampling weight. Of the 15,701 participants who participated in both Wave 1 and Wave 4 interviews, 14,800 participants have a sampling weight at Wave 4 interview that could be used to compute population estimates. For data analysis, data describing participants’ sociodemographic characteristics from Wave 1 of the Add Health study were combined with Wave 4 self-reported health outcomes and PI history."

Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang and Feijun Luo, "The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults." Pediatrics 2013;131;e1188; originally published online March 18, 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0627.
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...

14. Parents in Prison

"An estimated 809,800 prisoners of the 1,518,535 held in the nation's prisons at midyear 2007 were parents of minor children, or children under age 18. Parents held in the nation's prisons -- 52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates -- reported having an estimated 1,706,600 minor children, accounting for 2.3% of the U.S. resident population under age 18."

Glaze, Lauren E. and Maruschak, Laura M., "Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Aug. 2008), NCJ222984, p. 1.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

15. Parental Supportive and Monitoring Behaviors, and Substance Use Prevention Among Youth, 2012

"• In 2012, past month use of illicit drugs and cigarettes and binge alcohol use were lower among youths aged 12 to 17 who reported that their parents always or sometimes engaged in supportive or monitoring behaviors than among youths whose parents seldom or never engaged in such behaviors. For instance, the rate of past month use of any illicit drug in 2012 was 7.6 percent for youths whose parents always or sometimes helped with homework compared with 18.1 percent among youths who indicated that their parents seldom or never helped. Rates of current cigarette smoking and past month binge alcohol use also were lower among youths whose parents always or sometimes helped with homework (5.1 and 5.9 percent, respectively) than among youths whose parents seldom or never helped (12.8 and 13.4 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 74.
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/re...
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/re...

16. Children with Parents Behind Bars

"Among white children in 1980, only 0.4 of 1 percent had an incarcerated parent; by 2008 this figure had increased to 1.75 percent. Rates of parental incarceration are roughly double among Latino children, with 3.5 percent of children having a parent locked up by 2008. Among African American children, 1.2 million, or about 11 percent, had a parent incarcerated by 2008."

Western , Bruce; Pettit, Becky, "Incarceration & social inequality," Dædalus (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Summer 2010), p. 16.
http://www.mitpressjournals.or...

17. Parents Behind Bars

"The growth of incarceration in America has intergenerational impacts that policy makers will have to confront. According to this analysis, more than 1.2 million inmates — over half of the 2.3 million people behind bars — are parents of children under age 18. This includes more than 120,000 mothers and more than 1.1 million fathers. The racial concentration that characterizes incarceration rates also extends to incarcerated parents. Nearly half a million black fathers, for example, are behind bars, a number that represents 40 percent of all incarcerated parents.
"The most alarming news lurking within these figures is that there are now 2.7 million minor children (under age 18) with a parent behind bars. (See Figure 9.) Put more starkly, 1 in every 28 children in the United States — more than 3.6 percent — now has a parent in jail or prison. Just 25 years ago, the figure was only 1 in 125.
"For black children, incarceration is an especially common family circumstance. More than 1 in 9 black children has a parent in prison or jail, a rate that has more than quadrupled in the past 25 years. (See Figure 10.)
"Because far more men than women are behind bars, most children with an incarcerated parent are missing their father.37 For example, more than 10 percent of African American children have an incarcerated father, and 1 percent have an incarcerated mother."

The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010. Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, p. 18.
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/re...

18. Impact on Young People of Incarceration of Their Fathers

"Paternal incarceration, however, was found associated with a greater number of health outcomes than maternal incarceration. Also, paternal incarceration was found to be associated with both physical and mental health problems, whereas maternal incarceration was found associated only with poor mental health.
"For paternal incarceration, with the exception of HIV/AIDS, larger associations were found for mental health as compared with physical health outcomes. Caution should be taken in understanding the significance of the finding related to HIV/AIDS, given its low overall sample prevalence and wide CI. If this is a true association, it may be related to paternal HIV/AIDS status and other risk factors related to father absence. Given the high correlation between HIV/AIDS and incarceration, increased odds of HIV/AIDS in offspring could come from perinatal transmission. However, social factors may also explain this relationship."

Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang and Feijun Luo, "The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults." Pediatrics 2013;131;e1188; originally published online March 18, 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0627.
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...

19. Physical and Mental Health Impact of Parental Incarceration on Their Children

"As shown in Table 2, bivariate analyses indicate PI [Parental Incarceration] was significantly associated with 8 of the 16 health conditions (heart disease, asthma, migraines, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], HIV/AIDS, and fair/poor health). With the exception of heart disease and HIV/AIDS, individuals who reported neither parent had an incarceration history had the lowest prevalence rates of these 8 health conditions. Individuals who reported father incarceration only had the highest prevalence rates of 3 of the 8 health conditions (heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and fair/poor health); whereas individuals who reported mother incarceration only were highest on 2 conditions (depression and anxiety) and individuals who reported incarceration of both parents were highest on 3 conditions (asthma, migraine, and PTSD)."

Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang and Feijun Luo, "The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults." Pediatrics 2013;131;e1188; originally published online March 18, 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0627.
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...
http://pediatrics.aappublicati...

20. Impact of Student Aid Ban

"Since the drug conviction question was first added to the financial aid form during the 2000-2001 school year, 189,065 people have had their applications rejected because of their answers to it. The government has periodically released data on the number of students affected nationally. DoE released the state-by-state data last week, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the nonprofit organization Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and a subsequent lawsuit brought by the student group against the government."

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, "How Many College Students in Each State Lost Financial Aid Due to Drug Convictions?," April 17, 2006.
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/sc...

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