Title

The Effects of Parental Incarceration and Child Well-being on Delinquency

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Clinical Psychology

2nd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Faculty/Staff

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Esther Malm, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

As the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates around the world, young children have a greater risk of being influenced by the disruption in their lives (Murray, Farrington, & Sekol, 2012). According to the cumulative risk model, as children begin to feel the impact of stressful events, they are at risk for multiple maladaptive problems within their lives. Therefore, the parental incarceration singlehandedly may not affect the child. However, other variables related to incarceration, such as length of sentence and time point in children’s lives, could contribute to the child’s states of well-being and risk of delinquency. We hypothesize that individually child’s well-being and parental incarceration in both years 3 and 5 will directly influence delinquent behaviors at age 9. Secondly, parental incarceration will significantly moderate the relationship between child wellbeing and delinquency at both time points, where longer incarceration time worsens the relationship. Data from Fragile families and Wellbeing Longitudinal Data set were used to examine both hypotheses. Results indicate that child wellbeing at year 3, not year 5, and parental incarceration at both years 3 and 5 uniquely predicted delinquent behaviors at year 9. The second main hypothesis was not supported in that; parental incarceration was not a significant moderator of the relationship between child wellbeing and delinquency at both time points. Result and future directions will be discussed.

Spring Scholars Week 2018 Event

Psychology Department Panel: Completed Projects

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The Effects of Parental Incarceration and Child Well-being on Delinquency

As the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates around the world, young children have a greater risk of being influenced by the disruption in their lives (Murray, Farrington, & Sekol, 2012). According to the cumulative risk model, as children begin to feel the impact of stressful events, they are at risk for multiple maladaptive problems within their lives. Therefore, the parental incarceration singlehandedly may not affect the child. However, other variables related to incarceration, such as length of sentence and time point in children’s lives, could contribute to the child’s states of well-being and risk of delinquency. We hypothesize that individually child’s well-being and parental incarceration in both years 3 and 5 will directly influence delinquent behaviors at age 9. Secondly, parental incarceration will significantly moderate the relationship between child wellbeing and delinquency at both time points, where longer incarceration time worsens the relationship. Data from Fragile families and Wellbeing Longitudinal Data set were used to examine both hypotheses. Results indicate that child wellbeing at year 3, not year 5, and parental incarceration at both years 3 and 5 uniquely predicted delinquent behaviors at year 9. The second main hypothesis was not supported in that; parental incarceration was not a significant moderator of the relationship between child wellbeing and delinquency at both time points. Result and future directions will be discussed.