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J Forensic Soc Work. 2015;5(1-3):167-185.

Adversity Across the Life Course of Incarcerated Parents: Gender Differences.

Author information

1
University of Washington.
2
Partners for Our Children, University of Washington.

Abstract

More than half of the 1.6 million adults in U.S. prions are parents. Despite growing knowledge regarding the life course adversities of corrections-involved populations, less is known regarding incarcerated parents per se and the implications of cumulative adversities both on their needs and those of their children. Using a gender-balanced (41% minority) sample of incarcerated parents (N=357) from a randomized controlled trial of an in-prison parent training program, this study examines differences between incarcerated mothers and fathers in their exposures to adversities across the life course. Mothers and fathers shared similar patterns of adversity exposure in their families of origin, but differed in their experiences of juvenile justice and child welfare systems involvement, as well as in their adult experiences of victimization and related adult social and mental health outcomes. Implications for gender-responsive parent support and prevention programs for their children of incarcerated mothers and fathers are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

adversity; incarcerated parents; life course adversity; stress

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