The Psychosocial and Behavioral Effects of Parental Incarceration on Youth and Adolescents

A growing number of children and adolescents in the United States fall victim to having a parent taken away due to incarceration. This literature review examines the potential psychosocial and behavioral effects of parental incarceration on children and adolescents. An analysis of the topic is a crucial stepping-stone in developing infrastructure within communities and the government to ameliorate the negative effects. Research reports that children of prisoners suffer from emotional instability, increased delinquency, school problems, and increased rates of alcohol and drug use. This paper examines the negative consequences over the life course of children within a wide range of contextual factors. There is a presentation of information to better understand the impact of parental incarceration with suggestions to improve the outcomes for children with incarcerated parents. This paper also includes an analysis of the topic through an Adlerian lens, with suggestions regarding how to implement Adlerian theory with children of incarcerated parents.

Tanya L. Weaver
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PDF icon Weaver MP 2011.pdf296.86 KB