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Roger Fine and George Heinrich Colloquium Series 2013
Institute for the Study of Child Development

 

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Geraldine V. Oades-Sese (732) 235-7166.

 

Jason Schnittker, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Incarceration and the Health of Families

When. Tuesday, October.22.2013
Time. 12:00PM-1:00PM
Where. Room 3101
Institute for the Study of Child Development
89 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Incarceration has negative consequences for current and former inmates, but research also shows incarceration has consequences for inmates' families as well. This presentation will discuss the emerging literature on the effects of incarceration on the health of inmates' families and children, focusing on mental health. Part of the discussion will center on the challenges of understanding spillover effects in observational research designs. Families affected by incarceration face many other difficulties, and understanding the precise role of incarceration itself is sometimes difficult. Nevertheless, research reveals effects of incarceration on the mental health of inmates' partners and children that sometimes parallel those found among inmates themselves.

 

Jane A. Siegal, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Rutgers University

Overcoming the Odds: A Follow-up Study of Children of Incarcerated Mothers

When. Tuesday, November.12.2013
Time. 12:00PM-1:00PM
Where. Room 3101
Institute for the Study of Child Development
89 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Children of incarcerated parents (COIP) are typically assumed to be at significantly increased risk of undesirable outcomes such as involvement in delinquency, aggression, emotional difficulties and school problems. Some research has indeed found parental incarceration to be a risk factor for negative outcomes, but the findings are inconsistent and are frequently based on adult reports about children. Most COIP, however, do not experience these problems and instead appear to be resilient, although research on resilience among COIP is scarce. This paper examines adult outcomes among a group of 67 children whose mothers were involved in the criminal justice system (in prison, in jail or awaiting trial) in 2002-05. Children and their mothers were interviewed at that time when the children were between the ages of 8 and 18. In 2013, semi-structured, qualitative follow-up interviews are being conducted with a sample of the now-adult children. Analyses reported in this paper focus on both contemporaneous and retrospective reflections on the impact of the mother's criminal justice involvement on the children and the ways in which the children managed and overcame any adversity associated with their family situation. In addition, information from the earlier semi-structured qualitative interviews will be utilized to distinguish children who became adult offenders from non-offenders, based on official arrest records.

 

Jane E. Gillham, Ph.D.
Psychology Department
Swarthmore College

Promoting Adolescents' Resilience & Strengths

When. Tuesday, December.10.2013
Time. 12:00PM-1:00PM
Where. Room 3101
Institute for the Study of Child Development
89 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

How can school help students to flourish? This presentation will focus on my research group's work in the fields of prevention, positive psychology and positive education. Two major approaches will be emphasized. These include (1) strategies for promoting resilience or interrupting the downward spirals that can occur when youth encounter stressful events and problems, and (2) strategies for building upward spirals through cultivating youths' strengths, positive emotions, relationships, and sense of purpose or meaning. We will discuss specific programs, along with research on the benefits these approaches can have on students' social and emotional well-being and achievement.