Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Incarceration has no effect on nonresident fathers' parenting

Date:
December 11, 2013
Source:
American Sociological Association (ASA)
Summary:
A prison sentence may not always have negative consequences for children of the incarcerated, says one sociologist. In a new study, she finds that when an uninvolved dad spends time behind bars, there are no negative effects on his parenting.

A prison sentence may not always have negative consequences for children of the incarcerated, says University of California, Irvine sociologist Kristin Turney. In a new study, she finds that when an uninvolved dad spends time behind bars, there are no negative effects on his parenting.

"To date, most research shows that incarceration has detrimental effects on family life," she says. "But we find that there is considerable variation in these effects."

Turney and co-author Christopher Wildeman, Yale University, analyzed data from the Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal study conducted from 1998 to 2000 involving nearly 5,000 mostly unmarried parents of children born in urban areas, many of whom are economically disadvantaged. Over the course of the survey, almost half of the dads spent time in prison or jail.

The researchers found negative and pronounced effects of incarceration on fathers' engagement with children and co-parenting with children's mothers, but only when fathers were living with their children prior to incarceration. When fathers weren't living with their children prior to their stint behind bars, their incarceration had no effect on how they interacted with their children during or after release.

The findings, published this month in the American Sociological Review, go against popular beliefs that incarceration is uniformly bad for individuals and families.

"When mom or dad goes to prison, the whole family can suffer," she says. "But these negative effects -- at least on fathers' parenting -- only exist when fathers are living with children prior to incarceration. Those are the fathers who are likely to be involved with their children in the first place."

They also found that mothers are likely to move on to new partners in the face of a biological fathers' incarceration, potentially offsetting some losses in the involvement of the biological father.

The findings have implications for policymakers, says Turney.

"Policymakers need to be attentive to the fact that incarceration affects different individuals in the family in complex -- and often countervailing -- ways," she says. "Policy should aim to find ways to keep families connected during incarceration, and also address challenges that occur upon release."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Turney, C. Wildeman. Redefining Relationships: Explaining the Countervailing Consequences of Paternal Incarceration for Parenting. American Sociological Review, 2013; 78 (6): 949 DOI: 10.1177/0003122413505589

Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association (ASA). "Incarceration has no effect on nonresident fathers' parenting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211093614.htm>.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2013, December 11). Incarceration has no effect on nonresident fathers' parenting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211093614.htm
American Sociological Association (ASA). "Incarceration has no effect on nonresident fathers' parenting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211093614.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins