Cycles of Support: The Association of Incarceration and Household Instability

Kevin Dahaghi , University of Texas at Austin

The negative effects of incarceration on households are often linked to economic insecurities associated with the removal of a household member. Households may respond to the loss of resources and supports by adjusting their household composition. Few studies have quantitatively addressed the associations of incarceration and housing instability and hardship. This study seeks to investigate the broader social and economic consequences of having an incarcerated household member, beyond parental incarceration. Using unique panel data from Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), I explore how the incarceration of a household member is associated with household instability and hardship. The high numbers of current and formerly imprisoned individuals suggest negative implications for families and children. Therefore, exploring these associations has potential to broaden understandings on the ways in which mass incarceration transmits inter- and intra-generational disadvantage across households and family members.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions