Home

Incarceration and support for children in fragile families

Amanda B. Geller; Irwin Garfinkel; Bruce Western

Title:
Incarceration and support for children in fragile families
Author(s):
Geller, Amanda B.
Garfinkel, Irwin
Western, Bruce
Date:
Type:
Working papers
Department:
Columbia Population Research Center
Permanent URL:
Series:
Columbia Population Research Center Working Papers
Part Number:
09-07
Publisher:
Columbia Population Research Center
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
High US incarceration rates have motivated recent research on the negative effects of imprisonment on later employment, earnings, and family relationships. Given the high rates of fatherhood among men in jails and prisons, a large number of children are placed at considerable risk when a parent is incarcerated. This paper examines one dimension of the economic risk faced by children of incarcerated fathers: the reduction in the financial support that they receive. We use a population-based sample of urban children to examine the effects of incarceration on this support. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models indicate that men with incarceration histories are significantly less likely to contribute to their families and those that do contribute provide significantly less. These negative effects of incarceration on fathers’ financial support are due not only to diminished performance in the labor market by formerly incarcerated men, but also to their increased likelihood to live apart from their children. Men contribute far less through child support (formal or informal) than they do when they share their earnings within their household, suggesting that the destabilizing effects of incarceration on family relationships place children at significant economic disadvantage.
Subject(s):
Individual and family studies
Item views:
160
Metadata:
text | xml

In Partnership with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services | Terms of Use