Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Entwined Life Events: The Effect of Parental Incarceration Timing on Children's Academic Achievement


Fox,  Matthew P.
Criminal Law, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

Fox_Entwined life events.pdf
(Any fulltext), 772KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Fox, M. P., Moore, R. L., & Song, X. (2022). Entwined Life Events: The Effect of Parental Incarceration Timing on Children's Academic Achievement. Advances in Life Course Research, 55: 100516. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2022.100516.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-60C5-A
Parental incarceration has negative effects on children’s educational outcomes. Past studies have only analyzed, and therefore only treated as consequential, parental incarceration that occurs during childhood rather than prenatally. Such analyses that emphasize the importance only of events that occur during one’s lifetime are common in life course studies. This paper introduces an “entwined life events” perspective, which argues that certain events are so consequential to multiple persons’ lives that they should be analyzed as events within multiple independent life courses; parental incarceration, whenever it occurs, is entwined across and shapes both parents’ and children’s lives. Drawing on data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we find that parental incarceration, both prenatal and during childhood, significantly influences children’s academic ability measures and years of completed schooling. Our results show heterogeneous effects by children’s race. We find that the absolute magnitude of parental incarceration effect estimates is largest for White children relative to estimates for Black and Hispanic children. At the same time, outcome levels tend to be poorer for Black and Hispanic children with parental incarceration experience. We explain this racial heterogeneity as confounded by the many other social disadvantages that non-White children encounter, resulting in the individual effect of parental incarceration not being extremely disruptive to their academic growth.