SAGE Journal Articles
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DeFina, R. H., & Hannon, L. (2010). The impact of adult incarceration on child poverty: A county-level analysis, 1995-2007. The Prison Journal, 90 (4), 377-396.
Traditionally, research on the tremendous variation in the use of incarceration across time and space has focused on the issue of whether imprisoning more offenders reduces crime. More recently, research has begun to explore the collateral consequences of mass incarceration for the families and communities of those imprisoned. The current study adds to this burgeoning literature by examining the impact of incarceration rates on child poverty rates. Employing a panel design for North Carolina county data, 1995-2007, we use instrumental variable techniques to disentangle the effect of incarceration on poverty from the effect of poverty on incarceration. The results indicate that mass incarceration has significantly increased child poverty rates. The impact of adult incarceration on child poverty appears especially pronounced in counties with a high proportion of non-White residents.
Questions to consider:
1. What effect does mass imprisonment of a community’s population have on society?
2. What are the effects of mass incarceration on child poverty?
3. How will providing greater supports for ex-offenders and their families influence child poverty?
Kalil, A. (2013). Effects of the great recession on child development. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 650 (1), 232-250.
The Great Recession and its reverberations resulted in levels of economic distress unprecedented since the 1930s. Economic downturns, including the Great Recession, are known to affect adult employment and income, housing, family composition, and financial strain. Many of these family characteristics affect child and adolescent development in the short and long run. The nature of children’s experiences in economically unstable families during the Great Recession is not yet fully understood. This article summarizes empirical research on the relationship between economic downturns and child and youth development. It also discusses theoretical perspectives linking economic downturns to child development through the family’s emotional and behavioral processes, on one hand, and family investments of time and money, on the other. The evidence from existing studies of parental job loss, residential moves, income instability, and financial strain suggests that the Great Recession may ultimately have negative effects on child development.
Questions to consider:
1. How does parental job loss impact children’s development?
2. What impact does frequent moves have on children?
3. How do economic downturns negatively impact children’s development, specifically looking at family emotional and behavioral processes?
4. Describe the “investments” perspective.
5. In what ways did the Great Recession affect families differently?
Minujin, A., Delamonica, E., Davidziuk, A., & Gonzalez, E. D. (2006). The definition of child poverty: A discussion of concepts and measurements. Environment and Urbanization, 18 (2), 481-500.
This paper presents and discusses different concepts of child poverty, alternative definitions of children living in poverty, and measurement efforts in this regard. It addresses such questions as: who are the children living in poverty? Is the issue of children living in poverty recognized by and incorporated into anti-poverty strategies? Have governments, civil society organizations and international organizations identified and adopted policies to reduce child poverty? And is the situation of girls living in poverty taken into account? Several organizations have recently adopted human rights-based approaches to defining children living in poverty, and these definitions are included here. In general, however, the assessment finds that there is a lack of consideration of children’s issues in the debate on poverty. The lack of visibility has negative implications for anti-poverty strategies, which seldom consider that children and their rights are central to their design and implementation. In this paper, we argue that the lack of conceptualization and debate on the specificities of child poverty has enormous consequences for policy and, vice versa, that the income generation and sectoral focus of poverty reduction policies discourages a holistic response to children and families.
Questions to consider:
1. How does child poverty differ from adult poverty?
2. Explain the difference between the use of the absolute poverty line in the United States and relative poverty measures used in other countries.
3. How can child poverty reduction strategies and polices be revised to include the needs of children?