Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Food Insecurity: A Consideration of Variation and Mechanisms
Despite growing attention to the unintended intergenerational consequences of incarceration, little is known about whether and how paternal incarceration is related to children’s food insecurity. In this article, I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study to examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and children’s food insecurity. Propensity score matching models indicate that recent paternal incarceration, defined as incarceration in the past 2 years, is associated with an increased likelihood of food insecurity among 5-year-old children, but only among children living with their biological fathers prior to his incarceration. These associations cannot be explained by the mechanisms considered, including post-incarceration changes in economic well-being, parental relationships, maternal parenting, and maternal health. Taken together, the findings highlight the salience of the father’s residential status in linking paternal incarceration to children’s food insecurity, and they have a number of implications for policy and practice.
Turney, Kristin. 2015. “Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Food Insecurity: A Consideration of Variation and Mechanisms.” Social Service Review 89:335–367.