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Publication Date

June 1, 2015


Journal Article

Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Food Insecurity: A Consideration of Variation and Mechanisms

By Turney K


Despite growing attention to the unintended intergenerational consequences of incarceration, little is known about whether and how paternal incarceration is related to children’s food insecurity. In this article, I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study to examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and children’s food insecurity. Propensity score matching models indicate that recent paternal incarceration, defined as incarceration in the past 2 years, is associated with an increased likelihood of food insecurity among 5-year-old children, but only among children living with their biological fathers prior to his incarceration. These associations cannot be explained by the mechanisms considered, including post-incarceration changes in economic well-being, parental relationships, maternal parenting, and maternal health. Taken together, the findings highlight the salience of the father’s residential status in linking paternal incarceration to children’s food insecurity, and they have a number of implications for policy and practice.

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Date Added
November 16, 2017

Turney K (2015) 'Paternal Incarceration and Children's Food Insecurity: A Consideration of Variation and Mechanisms'. Social Service Review: Vol. 89, Issue 2, pp. 335-367. Available online: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/681704