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Parental Incarceration and School Readiness: Findings From the 2016 to 2018 National Survey of Children's Health.

Authors
  • Testa, Alexander1
  • Jackson, Dylan B2
  • 1 Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, The University of Texas at San Antonio (A Testa), San Antoinio, Tex. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University (DB Jackson), Baltimore, Md.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Academic pediatrics
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
21
Issue
3
Pages
534–541
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2020.08.016
PMID: 32861805
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Research has documented several collateral consequences of parental incarceration for the development of children. However, there is limited research on how experiencing parental incarceration impacts the school readiness of preschool-aged children. This study examines the relationship between parental incarceration and school readiness among 3- to 5-year-old children in the United States. The current study employs data from 2016 to 2018 National Survey of Children's Health. The measure of school readiness is comprised of the following 4 domains: early learning skills, self-regulation, social-emotional development, and physical health & motor development. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the extent to which children were on-track across these key school readiness domains. Parental incarceration is associated with a reduction in the predicted probability of being on-track across all 4 domains. Furthermore, while only about 1 in 33 children without incarcerated parents will be on-track in none of the domains, approximately 1 in 6 children experiencing parental incarceration will be on-track in none of the domains. Ancillary analyses reveal that these results largely hold across items in each school readiness domain. Using a novel measure of school readiness, the current study finds parental incarceration is associated with reduced school readiness of preschool-aged children in the United States. Considering the vast benefits of early school readiness for development and academic achievement, our findings suggest a need for interventions that enhance school readiness among children who experience parental incarceration. Copyright © 2020 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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