10.17615/nn4p-ah46

The Educational Effects of Parental Incarceration

Abstract

This paper explores the intergenerational educational consequences of incarceration. Through a structural equation model with latent variables, it analyzes four waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to explore how paternal incarceration influences children’s school trouble in their mid-high school years. The data show that the children of the prison boom are socioeconomically vulnerable; they are more likely to be from minority racial/ethnic groups, to have non-traditional family structures, and to be from low-income families. Paternal incarceration negatively affects adolescents’ performance in school through decreased family earnings, altered family structures, reduced paternal involvement in the child’s life, and strain on the child’s mental health. It also harms school performance directly, theoretically through social stigma. By exploiting an idiosyncrasy of the Add Health data, this model identifies and quantifies a paternal incarceration effect that acts separately from the effect of paternal criminality. Punishment in America reverberates across generations.Bachelor of Art

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This paper was published in Carolina Digital Repository.

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