Incarcerated mothers and fathers: How their absences disrupt children's high school graduation

Volume 2 - Issue 2
Anh-Luu Huynh-Hohnbaum Tim Bussell Gi Lee
Pages: 1-11 Download Count : 5944 View Count: 7022 DOI Number 10.17220/ijpes.2015.02.001 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


The United States is faced with a growing number of children who have incarcerated parents and nearly one quarter of children who fail to complete high school. It has been shown that parental incarceration negatively impacts academic outcomes. This study examined whether parental incarceration affects children’s high school graduation. Data on 12,418 young adults was drawn from the Add Health Wave IV dataset. Logistic regression analyses examined differences between maternal and paternal incarceration and the effects of chronicity of incarceration. Whereas both were found to reduce the likelihood that children will complete high school, maternal incarceration had a greater impact. This study fills gaps in the literature examining differences in parental incarceration. Practice and policy implications are discussed.


  • high school graduation
  • parental incarceration
  • parental absence
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