Family and residential instability in the context of paternal and maternal incarceration

Melinda Tasca, Nancy Rodriguez, Marjorie S. Zatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This study contributes to research on the effects of parental incarceration on youth, using quantitative and qualitative social file data among a sample of youth referred to an urban juvenile court. The authors expand on prior research by highlighting the role of the "unstable family" before and after parental incarceration, looking specifically at changes in guardianship status and residential instability. Maternal incarceration was significantly related to rearrest among youth, and residential instability that occurred following both maternal and paternal incarceration was significantly associated with rearrest. Results underscore the need for more nuanced research on the dynamic relation among family situational factors, paternal and maternal incarceration, and continued involvement of youth in the juvenile justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • changes in guardianship
  • maternal incarceration
  • parental incarceration
  • paternal incarceration
  • residential instability
  • youth rearrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


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