The number of persons incarcerated in the United States has sharply risen over the past several decades, from about 250,000 in 1975 to 2,250,000 in 2006. So too has the number of children with incarcerated parents, particularly fathers. The consequences of father's incarceration for their children, families, and communities are of increasing concern to researchers, policy makers, and practitioners.
Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of adolescents in schools in 1995, who were periodically followed into their early to mid-20s, this new study examined the association between having an incarcerated biological father and marijuana and other illegal drug use. Over 51% of young men, and almost 40% of young women, whose biological fathers had a history of incarceration reported using marijuana, compared to 38% and 28%, respectively, of comparable men and women whose fathers were never incarcerated. Youth with incarcerated fathers also exhibited elevated trajectories of marijuana usage that extended into their mid-twenties, compared to other youth whose marijuana use peaked at about age 20. Biological father's incarceration was also found to be associated with elevated use of other illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.
Given that having a father in prison is an increasingly common event, this study's findings suggest that a substantial number of young people in the USA are at risk for drug use. Increased drug use is closely linked to a number of adverse outcomes, including illegal drug market activity, increased crime and incarceration rates, lost work productivity, and costly substance abuse treatment. "Long-term drug use may exacerbate many other problems faced by disadvantaged youth, including mental health issues, delinquency, dropping out of school, domestic violence and poverty," says the study's lead author, Dr. Michael Roettger, a Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. Roettger notes that "this is of particular concern within poor and minority communities where incarcerations are disproportionately located."
The researchers are careful to note, however, that this is a non-experimental study, and that the relationships observed are associations, and should not be taken to indicate a causal process. "Further research is needed to more fully examine if it is father's incarceration, or other closely related factors such as father's criminality, family histories of drug use, or stresses associated with family instability, that are driving these detrimental relationships" cautions Dr. Raymond Swisher, one of the study's co-authors. Danielle Kuhl and Jorge Chavez, also of Bowling Green State University, are also co-authors on the study.
The numbers show the potential size of the problem. In 2006, nearly 7.5 million children were estimated to have a parent currently in prison or on probation/parole. Expressed in terms of cumulative risk, 13% of young adults in the U.S. report that their fathers had spent time in prison during their childhoods.
Roettger M., Swisher R., Kuhl D., Chavez J. Paternal incarceration and trajectories of marijuana and other illegal drug use from adolescence into young adulthood: Evidence from longitudinal panels of males and females in the United States. Addiction 2010; 105: DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03110.x
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction