Parental Incarceration and Intergenerational Transfers to Young Adults


Siennick, Sonja E. (2014). Parental Incarceration and Intergenerational Transfers to Young Adults. Journal of Family Issues.


This study extended work on the consequences of incarceration for families by linking parents’ incarcerations to their material support of children entering adulthood. It examined two categories of support, parental transfers of cash and shared housing, that are known deficits among young children of incarcerated parents and that play important roles in young adult attainment and well-being. Propensity score analyses of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N [Wave3] = 14,023; N [Wave4] = 14,361) revealed that previously incarcerated mothers were less likely to give money and housing support to young adult children, as were previously incarcerated fathers. Some evidence of cross-parent effects was found; a given parent’s incarceration may increase the odds of the other parent’s financial support and decrease the odds of their housing support. The study confirms that the impact of parental incarceration extends beyond childhood and may disadvantage youths during the transition to adulthood.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Family Issues


Siennick, Sonja E.

Year Published




Reference ID