Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Social Work

Committee Chair

Golder, Seana

Author's Keywords

Parental incarceration; Parental risk factors; Child outcomes; Risk factors; Multiple risk model; Protective factors


Children of prisoners--Effect of imprisonment on--United States; Prisoners' families--Effect of imprisonment on--United States


The impact of four primary parental risk factors (parental mental illness, parental substance use, parental mental illness, and poverty) on seven child outcomes (school failure, criminal behaviors, being arrested, behavioral difficulties, emotional difficulties, alcohol, and drug use) was examined. The accumulation of multiple risk factors in a child's life was found to significantly increase the likelihood that several negative outcomes would occur. The research, however, suggests further that this is an over simplification of the phenomenon and that specific risk factors are more likely to contribute to specific child outcomes. Depending on the outcome being addressed by programming and policies it would be beneficial to address those risks found to be more significantly linked to that specific outcome.