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Criminal justice involvement, drug use, and depression among African American children of incarcerated parents

Kopak, Albert M.; & Smith-Ruiz, Dorothy. (2016). Criminal justice involvement, drug use, and depression among African American children of incarcerated parents. Race and Justice, 6(2), 89-116.

Kopak, Albert M.; & Smith-Ruiz, Dorothy. (2016). Criminal justice involvement, drug use, and depression among African American children of incarcerated parents. Race and Justice, 6(2), 89-116.

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The incarcerated population in the United States is disproportionately African American and many inmates are parents of children under the age of 18. Recent reports show that African American children were significantly more likely than White children to have a parent in prison. Emerging research has also begun to investigate some of the effects that parental incarceration can have on children, but little has focused exclusively on the population of African American youth. This study draws on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to examine how having a father, a mother, or both parents incarcerated may be associated with an array of adverse life circumstances (i.e., criminal justice contact, drug use, and depression) for African American children. Differences were examined among children who had (a) an imprisoned mother, (b) an imprisoned father, (c) both parents imprisoned, and (d) neither parent imprisoned. Results indicated that having different parents imprisoned early in life was differentially associated with negative outcomes during emerging adulthood. These findings have important implications for the development of prevention and intervention programs for African American children of incarcerated parents.


African/Black Americans; race/ethnicity; prison–industrial complex; race and corrections; parents; children; criminal justice outcomes


JOUR



Kopak, Albert M.
Smith-Ruiz, Dorothy



2016


Race and Justice

6

2

89-116


May 17, 2015





10.1177/2153368715586633



5696