Children’s Antisocial Behavior, Mental Health, Drug Use, and Educational Performance After Parental Incarceration: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 03/2012; 138(2):175-210. DOI: 10.1037/a0026407
Source: PubMed


Unprecedented numbers of children experience parental incarceration worldwide. Families and children of prisoners can experience multiple difficulties after parental incarceration, including traumatic separation, loneliness, stigma, confused explanations to children, unstable childcare arrangements, strained parenting, reduced income, and home, school, and neighborhood moves. Children of incarcerated parents often have multiple, stressful life events before parental incarceration. Theoretically, children with incarcerated parents may be at risk for a range of adverse behavioral outcomes. A systematic review was conducted to synthesize empirical evidence on associations between parental incarceration and children's later antisocial behavior, mental health problems, drug use, and educational performance. Results from 40 studies (including 7,374 children with incarcerated parents and 37,325 comparison children in 50 samples) were pooled in a meta-analysis. The most rigorous studies showed that parental incarceration is associated with higher risk for children's antisocial behavior, but not for mental health problems, drug use, or poor educational performance. Studies that controlled for parental criminality or children's antisocial behavior before parental incarceration had a pooled effect size of OR = 1.4 (p < .01), corresponding to about 10% increased risk for antisocial behavior among children with incarcerated parents, compared with peers. Effect sizes did not decrease with number of covariates controlled. However, the methodological quality of many studies was poor. More rigorous tests of the causal effects of parental incarceration are needed, using randomized designs and prospective longitudinal studies. Criminal justice reforms and national support systems might be needed to prevent harmful consequences of parental incarceration for children.

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Available from: Joseph Murray, Jun 03, 2014
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    • "Analyses were performed in Stata using the metan, metabias and metafunnel commands. Either one drinking frequency outcome, or one drinking quantity outcome per trial was used within each analysis to meet the assumption of independence (see, e.g., Murray et al., 2012). We applied the following method to select independent data: We included the data from follow-up during which MI had the strongest effect (SMD) in comparison to the control intervention if studies reported an outcome at more than one follow-up. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: We investigate the effect of motivational interviewing (MI), delivered in a brief intervention during an emergency care contact, on the alcohol consumption of young people who screen positively for present or previous risky alcohol consumption. Methods: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX and Scopus were searched for randomized controlled trials with adolescents or young adults that compared MI in an emergency care setting to control conditions and measured drinking outcomes. Results: Six trials with 1433 participants, aged 13-25 years, were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. MI was never less efficacious than a control intervention. Two trials found significantly more reduction in one or more measures of alcohol consumption in the MI intervention group. One trial indicated that MI may be used most effectively in young people with high-volume alcohol consumption. Separate random effects meta-analyses were performed based on the highest impact that MI added on reducing the drinking frequency and the drinking quantity at any point in time during the different study periods. Their results were expressed as standardized mean differences (SMDs). The frequency of drinking alcohol decreased significantly more after MI than after control interventions (SMD ≤ -0.17, P ≤ 0.03). In addition, MI reduced the drinking quantity further than control interventions in a meta-analysis of the subset of trials that were implemented in the USA (SMD = -0.12, P = 0.04). Meta-analyses of the smallest mean differences between MI and control groups detected no differences in alcohol use (SMD ≤ 0.02, P ≥ 0.38). Conclusion: MI appears at least as effective and may possibly be more effective than other brief interventions in emergency care to reduce alcohol consumption in young people.
    Alcohol and Alcoholism 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agu098 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    • "Early attachment experiences with the primary caregiver forge an internal working model for subsequent adult relationships, and parental neglect is notoriously linked to neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders that may persist through adulthood (Bowlby 1978; Tyrka et al. 2008; Murray et al. 2012). Despite emerging evidence for the impact of parental deprivation (Helmeke et al. 2001; Ziabreva et al. 2003; Bredy et al. 2004; Kaffman and Meaney 2007), the primary focus has been on mother-offspring relationships. "
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    Cerebral Cortex 12/2013; 25(5). DOI:10.1093/cercor/bht310 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Attachment research demonstrates the critical role that parent–child relationships play in the development of social skills (Belskey and Fearon 2002), emotion regulation (Contreras et al. 2000) and self-concept (Goodvin et al. 2008). Not surprisingly, research examining other types of parental separation, incarcerated parents (Murray et al. 2012) or parents deployed for military service (Lester et al. 2010) for instance, have concluded that children are at increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems. Although immigration policy and the appropriateness of deportation is a prominent political issue, empirical examination of the impact of parental deportation is rare. "
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