Mass Incarceration, Parental Imprisonment, and the Great Recession: Intergenerational Sources of Severe Deprivation in America Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Russell Sage Foundation.All right reserved.. What were the socioeconomic consequences for American youth of having a parent incarcerated during the 2008 Great Recession? We analyze a nationally representative panel study of adolescents who, when interviewed during this recession, were transitioning to and through early adulthood. Young adult children who have had a father or mother imprisoned are at increased risk of experiencing socioeconomic deprivation, including inadequate access to food. We build in this article on recent research showing that postsecondary education has become especially important in determining adult outcomes, and we demonstrate that higher educational attainment reduces intergenerational effects of parental imprisonment. The salient policy implication of this article may be the important protective role of education in reducing unprecedented risks and vulnerabilities imposed by mass parental incarceration.

published proceedings

  • RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

author list (cited authors)

  • Hagan, J., & Foster, H.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Hagan, John||Foster, Holly

publication date

  • November 2015