The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES:We investigated the relationship between parental incarceration history and young adult physical and mental health outcomes using Wave 1 and Wave 4 data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.METHODS:Dependent variables included self-reported fair/poor health and health diagnoses. The independent variable was parental incarceration history. Cross-tabulations and logistic regression models were run.RESULTS:Positive, significant associations were found between parental incarceration and 8 of 16 health problems (depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, cholesterol, asthma, migraines, HIV/AIDS, and fair/poor health) in adjusted logistic regression models. Those who reported paternal incarceration had increased odds of 8 mental and physical health problems, whereas those who reported maternal incarceration had increased odds of depression. For paternal incarceration, with the exception of HIV/AIDS, larger associations were found for mental health (odds ratios range 1.43-1.72) as compared with physical health (odds ratios range 1.26-1.31) problems. The association between paternal incarceration and HIV/AIDs should be interpreted with caution because of the low sample prevalence of HIV/AIDs.CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests exposure to parental incarceration in childhood is associated with health problems in young adulthood. Extant literature suggests underlying mechanisms that link parental incarceration history to poor outcomes in offspring may include the lack of safe, stable, nurturing relationships and exposure to violence. To prevent poor health in offspring of the incarcerated, additional studies are needed to (1) confirm the aforementioned associations and (2) assess whether adverse experiences and violence exposure in childhood mediate the relationship between parental incarceration history and offspring health problems.
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ABSTRACT: Although it is obvious that preconceptional effects as well as stressors during pregnancy profoundly influence the progeny, the lactation period seems to be at least as important. Here we summarize how maternal stressors during the lactation period affect the offspring. As vasopressin is one of the crucial components both for stress adaptation and social behavior, special emphasis was given to this neuropeptide. We can conclude that stressing the mother does not have the same acute effect on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (as the main target of stress adaptation) of the pups as stressing the pups, but later endocrine and behavioral consequences can be similar. Vasopressin plays a role in acute and later consequences of perinatal stressor applied either to the mother or to the offspring, thereby contributing to transmitting the mothers' stress to the progeny. This mother-infant interaction does not necessarily mean a direct transmission of molecules, but rather is the result of programming the brain development through changes in maternal behavior. Thus, there is a time lag between maternal stress and stress-related changes in the offspring. The interactions are bidirectional as not only stress in the dam but also stress in the progeny has an effect on nursing.The Scientific World Journal 01/2014; 2014:265394. DOI:10.1155/2014/265394 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To analyze 3-year recidivism after release from a prison nursery, a secure unit that allows imprisoned women to care for their infants. Descriptive study of 139 women who co-resided with their infants between 2001 and 2007 in a New York State prison nursery. Administrative criminal justice data were analyzed along with prospective study data on demographic, mental health, and prison nursery policy-related factors. Results reflect a sample of young women of color with histories of clinically significant depressive symptoms and substance dependence, who were convicted of nonviolent crimes and had multiple prior arrests. Three years after release 86.3% remained in the community. Only 4% of women returned to prison for new crimes. Survival modeling indicated that women who had previously violated parole had a significantly shorter mean return to prison time than those who were in the nursery for a new crime. Women released from a prison nursery have a low likelihood of recidivism. Innovative interventions are needed to address incarceration's public health effects. Nurses can partner with criminal justice organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate programs to ensure the health needs of criminal justice involved people and their families are met.Public Health Nursing 03/2014; 31(2):109-17. DOI:10.1111/phn.12072 · 0.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parental incarceration is associated with mental and physical health problems in children, yet little research directly tests mechanisms through which parental incarceration could imperil child health. We hypothesized that the incarceration of a woman or her romantic partner in the year before birth constituted an additional hardship for already-disadvantaged women, and that these additionally vulnerable women were less likely to engage in positive perinatal health behaviors important to infant and early childhood development. We analyzed 2006-2010 data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System to assess the association between incarceration in the year prior to the birth of a child and perinatal maternal hardships and behaviors. Women reporting incarceration of themselves or their partners in the year before birth of a child had .86 the odds (95 % CI .78-.95) of beginning prenatal care in the first trimester compared to women not reporting incarceration. They were nearly twice as likely to report partner abuse and were significantly more likely to rely on WIC and/or Medicaid for assistance during pregnancy. These associations persist after controlling for socioeconomic measures and other stressors, including homelessness and job loss. Incarceration of a woman or her partner in the year before birth is associated with higher odds of maternal hardship and poorer perinatal health behaviors. The unprecedented scale of incarceration in the US simultaneously presents an underutilized public health opportunity and constitutes a social determinant of health that may contribute to disparities in early childhood development.Maternal and Child Health Journal 03/2014; 18(9). DOI:10.1007/s10995-014-1466-3 · 2.24 Impact Factor