With nearly 3 million minor children experiencing parental incarceration on any given day, interest on the impact of this incarceration on children has intensified. Of particular interest is the link between parental incarceration and the development of child externalizing behaviors. While research in this area has expanded, more research is needed that examines the differential effects of parental incarceration and the heterogeneity of outcomes for children. The current study examines specific developmental trajectories of externalizing behaviors and the impact of parental incarceration on trajectory membership when controlling for key individual, family and parental influences. While the results suggest there are several developmental pathways for externalizing behaviors, parental incarceration was a significant risk factor for only one of the three problematic pathways. The study emphasizes some of the protective and risk factors for different patterns of development, specifically the role of parental incarceration. Such information is critical in the development of targeted prevention and intervention programs to support youth and their families impacted by parental incarceration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science