More than 2.2 million people — disproportionately racial/ethnic minorities — are incarcerated in the U.S. More than half of males and nearly 2/3 of females in prison have children. Racial/ethnic disparities prevail: 1 in 9 African American children and 1 in 28 Hispanic children have a parent in prison compared with 1 in 56 non-Hispanic white children.
Incarceration, whether or not it occurs during the child’s lifetime, may disrupt families, alienate loved ones, and limit opportunities for employment, public housing, college admission, public aid, and some occupations, leading to poverty and residential instability. Incarceration during the child’s lifetime may have direct consequences for the child: a new caregiver, moving homes, changing schools, or placement in foster care.
This study, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Program in Public Health, will leverage data already collected in the Northwestern Juvenile Project (NJP) to conduct the first comprehensive prospective study of the collateral consequences of parents’ incarcerations on their adolescent children. Begun in the mid-1990s, the NJP is a large-scale longitudinal study of mental health needs and outcomes of youth after detention. Many of the participants (G1), now median age 36, have children of their own, with whom the researchers have maintained contact since 2002. Northwestern will study 466 families with children (G2) ages 10 to 17 years, a critical developmental period for problem behaviors.
Funding Agency: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health
Award Date: June 10, 2019
Amount: $3,341,989 (total costs) over 5 years
Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda A. TeplinFriday Letter Submission, Publish on July 19