Beyond the Prison Bars: Examining the Relationship between Paternal Incarceration, Maternal Stress and Parenting Behaviors

Jerrett Jones, University of Wisconsin-Madison

A growing academic literature has examined the consequences of incarceration for families. However, there is a paucity of quantitative research examining the effects of imprisonment on partners of former offenders. This paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the impact of paternal incarceration on maternal stress and parenting behaviors. Preliminary results indicate that recent paternal incarceration increases mothers parenting stress, and physical and psychological aggression against their children. I use cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models, which control for a rich set of covariates associated with incarceration. These results suggest that criminal justice system has negative implications on the well being of women.

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Presented in Poster Session 5