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Children of incarcerated parents: Implications of research on population heterogeneity for mentoring interventions

Fri, April 13, 10:15 to 11:45am, Hilton, Third Floor, Minneapolis Grand Ballroom-Salon B

Session Type: Paper Symposium

Integrative Statement

Nearly 1% of adults in the U.S. are incarcerated and a staggering 1 in 40 children are estimated to have an incarcerated parent (Wildeman, 2009). This symposium brings together findings from two large national studies of research on children of incarcerated parents to inform theory and practice related to the design of relationship-based interventions for this high-risk population.
In the first two papers, baseline data from a longitudinal evaluation of the effectiveness of a national demonstration project examining the impact of mentoring program enhancements on children of incarcerated parents were examined. The first paper focuses on the differential role of maternal versus paternal versus non-biological caregiver incarceration on youth adjustment. The second paper analyzes the impact of exposure to risk and protective factors on the behavioral, emotional, academic, and social functioning of children of incarcerated parents with a focus on whether protective factors can reduce the negative effects of risk exposure. The third paper is based upon a study involving a subsample of the national database of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) that describes how infusing information and skills related to parental incarceration into volunteer training in BBBS programs can enhance the effectiveness of mentoring relationships involving children with an incarcerated parent.
Discussion of findings from this symposium will include both policy and funding priorities of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as well as contribute to further development and testing of theories and interventions related to mentoring relationships for children of incarcerated parents.

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