Does skin color moderate the relationship between a criminal record and unemployment?


Landeis, Marissa (2017). Does skin color moderate the relationship between a criminal record and unemployment?.


Over the past few decades, imprisonment and contact with the criminal justice system have become normative experiences for some groups in the United States, particularly African Americans of lower socioeconomic status. Using data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) the present study will examine the associations between skin color, a criminal record, and employment outcomes. More specifically, this study will examine the moderating effect of skin color on the relationship between a criminal record and unemployment. Three different measures of unemployment are used, as well as multiple measures of criminal justice contact. Further, this study also includes analyses stratified by race and ethnicity to examine the role of skin tone within-African American and within-Hispanic subgroups. Logistic Regression results indicate that individuals with a dark skin tone and a criminal record have an accentuated risk of unemployment compared to those with light skin. Moreover, this pattern holds when analyzing within African American differences.


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Book Title



Landeis, Marissa

Series Author(s)

Swisher, Raymond R.

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Bowling Green State University

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