Examining The Association Of Substance Abuse And Violence With Incarceration Among Fathers: An Epidemiological Criminology Approach
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentPublic Health and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Public Health
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It is well documented that over half of males incarcerated in state and federal prisons are fathers. While many studies have demonstrated that incarceration has negative implications on families and family members who are associated with men with a history of incarceration; very little research has examined the effects of male incarceration on behavioral patterns or family factors. The primary objective of this study is to examine the association of substance about and intimate partner violence with incarceration among fathers using longitudinal data collected from The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (Fragile Families) Study, which investigates the association between incarceration risk behaviors (i.e. criminogenic risk factors) and incarceration outcomes among a cohort of fathers. This study consisted of approximately 4,700 families who were surveyed in part of the Fragile Families Study in 75 hospitals among 20 cities across the United States. In addition to univariate analysis, several simple and multiple discrete-time survival analysis was used to examine the association between criminogenic risk factors-- marital status, poverty level, educational attainment and race, intimate partner violence and drug use with incarceration among fathers. Results showed that Black father and fathers living below the poverty level were more likely to be incarcerated. After adjustments for intimate partner violence and family drug factors, it was found that the odds of incarceration remains higher and significant for Black fathers' when compared with White fathers. Fathers who were living below the poverty level when compared to fathers with a poverty range above the poverty level while adjusted for other covariates in the model. Results show family factors such as fathers' race, marital status, educational attainment, and poverty level are significantly associated with incarceration outcomes. Results of this study also demonstrated that intimate partner violence and family drug factors within a family system, modify the relationship between fathers' race, educational attainment, poverty level, with incarceration.