Children of incarcerated mothers: the effect of maternal incarceration on child cognitive, behavioral and educational outcomes
As has been documented, the growing prison population in the United States has increased the number of children who are growing up with a parent in jail or prison. The effect of parental incarceration and maternal incarceration specifically, may be particularly detrimental to child development due to the instability and social stigma that is attached to this particular cause for a parent's absence from the home. To more fully understand the impact maternal incarceration has on the child, I use the NLSY79 and the associated Child and Young Adult Survey to investigate the effect, if any, of maternal incarceration on the inmate's child's cognitive outcomes, behavior and educational attainment. The results of the investigation, however, are largely inconclusive and lead me to suggest that better data collection must be focused on incarcerated women and their children.