A Family Perspective: Caregiving and Family Contexts of Children with an Incarcerated Parent

  • Joyce A. ArdittiEmail author
  • Casey M. McGregor


A growing body of research evidence suggests that as a group, children with incarcerated parents face unique challenges that can contribute to poor developmental outcomes and the reproduction of disadvantage. Yet how a parent’s incarceration impacts children can vary widely and may depend largely on the ways in which children’s caregiving scenarios and the quality of their family relationships are altered as a result of a parent’s criminal justice involvement. Utilizing a family perspective, which considers the collateral consequences of parental incarceration for children and their caregivers, we examine resource adequacy, caregiver and family stability, and the quality of care children receive. We conclude with a discussion of intervention and policy implications aimed at strengthening children’s family contexts and enhancing positive developmental and parenting trajectories.


Caregiver Child Family Incarceration 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Development and Family ScienceVirginia TechBlacksburgUS

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