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The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and as a result, one of the largest populations of incarcerated parents. Growing evidence suggests that the incarceration of a parent may be associated with a number of risk factors in adolescence, including school drop out. Taking a developmental ecological approach, this study used multilevel modeling to examine the association of parental incarceration on truancy, academic achievement, and lifetime educational attainment using the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (48.3 % female; 46 % minority status). Individual characteristics, such as school and family connectedness, and school characteristics, such as school size and mental health services, were examined to determine whether they significantly reduced the risk associated with parental incarceration. Our results revealed small but significant risks associated with parental incarceration for all outcomes, above and beyond individual and school level characteristics. Family and school connectedness were identified as potential compensatory factors, regardless of parental incarceration history, for academic achievement and truancy. School connectedness did not reduce the risk associated with parental incarceration when examining highest level of education. This study describes the school related risks associated with parental incarceration, while revealing potential areas for school-based prevention and intervention for adolescents.
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- Promoting Educational Resiliency in Youth with Incarcerated Parents: The Impact of Parental Incarceration, School Characteristics, and Connectedness on School Outcomes
Emily B. Nichols
Ann B. Loper
J. Patrick Meyer
- Springer US