Risk and Resilience among Children with Incarcerated Parents: Examining Heterogeneity in Delinquency and School Outcomes
Kremer, K. P., Poon, C. Y. S., Jones, C. L., Hagler, M. A., Kupersmidt, J. B., Stelter, R. L., Stump, K. N., & Rhodes, J. E. (2020). Risk and Resilience among Children with Incarcerated Parents: Examining Heterogeneity in Delinquency and School Outcomes. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi:10.1007/s10826-020-01822-1
Objectives: Children of incarcerated parents (COIP) are at risk for a range of negative outcomes; however, participating in a mentoring relationship can be a promising intervention for these youth. This study examined the impact of mentoring and mentoring program enhancements on COIP.
Methods: The present study utilized latent profile analysis with 1,088 children with incarcerated parents to identify heterogeneity in behavioral and social problems.
Results: Four profiles were observed. The majority (61%) were well-adjusted with low behavioral problems at school and less affiliation with antisocial friends. Youth classified as overactive (20%) displayed frequent disruptive and hyperactive behaviors, while isolated youth (14%) exhibited high loneliness and depression and were most likely to be bullied. Youth in the aggressive profile (7%) exhibited frequent aggression, school behavioral problems, and affiliation with antisocial friends.
Conclusions: Most children with incarcerated parents are well-adjusted with low levels of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, strong parental and teacher support, and infrequent delinquency. However, youth outside of the well-adjusted profile are at-risk for a myriad of behavioral problems, including aggressive behavior, depression, and hyperactivity. Comprehensive assessments of youth’s needs should be undertaken to coordinate multisystemic interventions and connect children with incarcerated parents with appropriate support from their family, school, and community.