Parental Incarceration and Child Wellbeing in Fragile Families

Posted April 1, 2008
By Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University
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The brief identifies the statistically significant findings from the Fragile Families Study; more than 4,800 children were followed for 5 years. The researchers examined the impact of the incarceration of fathers and mothers of these children and compared how the outcomes were different for each parent’s incarceration. 

Findings & Stats

Key Takeaway

Incarceration of Either Parent Increases a Child’s Risk.

The incarceration of a child’s father or mother increases a child’s risk. While a father’s incarceration increases the most number of risk factors across economic, family stability and child wellbeing outcomes, a mother’s incarceration increases the risk of a child’s contact with the foster care system and in experiencing residential moves.