Differences in Criminal Behavior Based on Experiences Involving Parental Incarceration


Fitzgerald, Brooke Bowie (2023). Differences in Criminal Behavior Based on Experiences Involving Parental Incarceration.


Parental abandonment, a form of abuse and neglect, can be experienced due to various factors, including incarceration. When parents are incarcerated, children may face factors such as housing instability, financial strain, behavioral problems, mental health issues, and criminal justice involvement. Due to little research that is available, there are challenges in terms of providing programs to children in this position that could focus on preventing negative impacts of parental incarceration in order to combat substance abuse and criminal behaviors, promote better adjustment to stressors, and support mental health treatment. The attachment theory, developed by Bowlby, Ainsworth, and Blatz was used for this study as well as the Developmental and Life Course Criminological theories. This research involved identifying the impact of incarceration on children by focusing on the age at which they experienced traumatic events with a focus on number of future arrests, differences between maternal and paternal interaction, and the impact on the age of first arrest using a quantitative approach with an archival data set from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health by Harris and Udry. This research involved using binomial logistic regressions to analyze these variables. Results indicated that parental incarceration had no impact on children’s future arrest frequency or age of their first arrest. Findings may be used by clinicians for positive social change through helping children of incarcerated parents to combat challenges regarding the changes within the family structure and psychological distress over their lifespan.




criminal behavior

Reference Type



Fitzgerald, Brooke Bowie

Year Published



Walden University

Reference ID