Effects of Paternal Incarceration on Father Involvement on Child Behavior Outcomes at Middle Childhood
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This study tested the separate and combined effects of father involvement and paternal incarceration on child internalizing and externalizing behaviors at 9 years of age.
Our sample contains completed interviews of 2652 fathers, 3515 mothers, and 3377 children. The mean age of fathers was 28 at child age 9. Multiple regression analysis of secondary data was conducted from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national study that followed a cohort of low-income married and unmarried parents and their young children living in 20 US cities.
Higher socioeconomic status and greater father involvement were associated with lower child internalizing and externalizing behaviors, while paternal incarceration for property crimes was associated with greater externalizing in boys and internalizing in girls. Incarceration for drug crimes was associated with lower father involvement.
Multiple regression analyses confirmed the independent effects of father involvement on child internalizing and externalizing, but the incarceration for property crimes effects were attenuated and moderated by SES.
KeywordsExternalizing behaviors Father involvement Internalizing behaviors Middle childhood Paternal incarceration
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01HD36916, R01HD39135, and R01HD40421, as well as a consortium of private foundations. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
J.S. designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. J.B.D. collaborated with the design and writing of the study. C.N. analyzed the data and wrote the results. J.S., C.N., and J.B.D. collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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