Community and household-level incarceration and its association with mental health in a racially/ethnically diverse sample of families

Yasin A. Williams, Angela R. Fertig, Amanda C. Trofholz, Alicia Kunin-Batson, Jerica M. Berge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the association between community incarceration rates, household incarceration, and the mental health of parents and children. Participant families had children ages 5–9 (n = 1307) from the African American, Latinx, Hmong, Somali/Ethiopian, Native American, and White communities in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Linear mixed models were used to estimate associations between parent and child mental health, household incarceration exposure, and census tract race, ethnicity and gender-specific incarceration rates matched to the family's home address and race/ethnicity. Findings indicated that living in census tracts with elevated incarceration rates of men from your same racial or ethnic group was significantly associated with psychological distress in parents and externalizing behaviors in boys, regardless of household exposure to incarceration. The association between incarceration rates and externalizing behaviors was only observed among girls with exposure to household incarceration. Policies that deconstruct pervasive racism in penal systems are needed to improve population mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117000
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume352
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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