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Beyond absenteeism : father incarceration and child development

Amanda B. Geller; Carey E. Cooper; Irwin Garfinkel; Ofira Schwartz-Soicher; Ronald B. Mincy

Title:
Beyond absenteeism : father incarceration and child development
Author(s):
Geller, Amanda B.
Cooper, Carey E.
Garfinkel, Irwin
Schwartz-Soicher, Ofira
Mincy, Ronald B.
Date:
Type:
Working papers
Department:
Columbia Population Research Center
Permanent URL:
Series:
Columbia Population Research Center Working Papers
Part Number:
10-04
Publisher:
Columbia Population Research Center
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
High rates of incarceration among American men, coupled with high rates of fatherhood among men in prison, have motivated recent research on the effects of parental imprisonment on children's development. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and developmental outcomes for approximately 3,000 urban children. We estimate cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models that control not only for fathers' basic demographic characteristics and a rich set of potential confounders, but also for several measures of pre-incarceration child development and family fixed effects. We find significant increases in aggressive behaviors among children whose fathers are incarcerated, and some evidence of increased attention problems. The estimated effects of paternal incarceration are stronger than those of other forms of father absence, suggesting that children with incarcerated fathers may require specialized support from caretakers, teachers, and social service providers. The estimated effects are stronger for children who lived with their fathers prior to incarceration, but are also significant for children of nonresident fathers, suggesting that incarceration places children at risk through family hardships including and beyond parent-child separation.
Subject(s):
Criminology
Individual and family studies
Item views:
428
Metadata:
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