Maternal Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Involvement: Associations between Risk Exposures and Childhood Mental Health
Social Work Research
The National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being was used to examine a sample of 1,735 children ages five to 15 years with child welfare involvement. This study analyzed the extent that maternal criminal justice involvement (MCJI) and other maternal and environmental risks increase the potential for children's internalizing and externalizing problems. MCJI was associated with maternal substance abuse, exposure to violence, and community adversity. Multiple regression models show that MCJI, maternal mental illness, maternal substance abuse, violence exposure, and community adversity were associated with externalizing problems. Maternal mental illness, maternal substance abuse, violence exposure, and community adversity were associated with internalizing problems. MCJI moderated the association between substance abuse and externalizing problems. Findings suggest that the issues affecting children of mothers with child welfare and criminal justice involvement extend beyond issues of MCJI alone and have significant implications for criminal justice and child welfare practice and policy.
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Miller, K., Orellana, E.R., Johnson, A.B., Krase, K., & Anderson-Nathe, B. (2013). Maternal criminal justice and child welfare involvement: Associations between risk exposures and childhood mental health. Social Work Research. Volume 37, Issue 4, 1 December 2013, Pages 402–413.