More than 2 million U.S. children have a parent in prison – a circumstance that impacts individual children as well as our society on the whole.
The newest book in the Bronfenbrenner Series on the Ecology of Human Development, When Parents Are Incarcerated: Interdisciplinary Research and Interventions to Support Children (American Psychological Association), analyzes how parental incarceration affects children and what can be done to help them.
The book is edited by Christopher Wildeman, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell, Anna R. Haskins, assistant professor of sociology at Cornell and Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, a professor in the human development and family studies department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The book explores the issues from multi-disciplinary perspectives. Sociologists and demographers used complex techniques to develop causal analyses with a strong focus on social inequality. Developmental psychologists and family scientists explore how micro-level family interactions can moderate the consequences of parental incarceration. Criminologists offer important insights into the consequences of parental criminality and incarceration. And practitioners who design and evaluate interventions review a variety of programs targeting parents, children, and the criminal justice system.
“The interdisciplinary nature of this book is particularly unique and important, as successful solutions to such complicated issues are beyond the scope of a single approach,” Haskins said. “The perspectives of several disciplines are necessary in broadening understandings around the impact of parental incarceration for inequality among children.”
The work in the book was drawn from the 5th Biennial Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference – Minimizing the Collateral Damage: Interventions to Diminish the Consequences of Mass Incarceration for Children. Held during September 2016, the conference included scholars from variety of disciplines and more than 12 institutions and programs.
The book is the fifth in a series of volumes based on research presented at a Biennial Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference. The first four books in the series are:
- Chaos and Its Influence on Children’s Development: An Ecological Perspective, edited by Gary Evans and Theodore Wach
- Research for the Public Good: Applying Methods of Translational Research to Improve Human Health and Well-being, edited by Elaine Wethington and Rachel Dunifon
- The Neuroscience of Risky Decision Making, edited by Valerie Reyna, and Vivian Zayas
- Emotion, Aging, and Health, edited by Anthony Ong and Corinna Loeckenhoff