Associations Between Individual and Family Level Characteristics and Parenting Practices in Incarcerated African American Fathers
Modecki, K.L. and Wilson, M.N. (2009) Associations Between Individual and Family Level Characteristics and Parenting Practices in Incarcerated African American Fathers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18 (5). pp. 530-540.
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We investigated the reported parenting practices of fifty incarcerated African American fathers. Fathers were interviewed using hypothetical vignettes adapted from the Parenting Dimensions Inventory (PDI) and received scores on two parenting practices: responsive and restrictive. Father’s individual level (education and length of time spent incarcerated) and family level (number of relationships that have borne children) characteristics were significantly associated with their parenting practices. Based on canonical correlation analysis, on function one, responsive parenting was positively associated with education level and negatively associated with both cumulative incarceration time and more numerous partner fertility. Restrictive parenting was negatively associated with education level and positively associated with both cumulative incarceration time and more numerous partner fertility. Function 2 capitalized on variance in the restrictive parenting predictor that was not utilized in function 1, and likely captured lack of opportunity to parent. On function 2, restrictive parenting was negatively associated with cumulative time spent incarcerated and more numerous partner fertility. In all, results suggest that prison-based education programs should be part of an overall response to incarcerated fathers. These results add to the growing body of research on incarcerated fathers and fragile families.
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