This study measures the likelihood of incarceration among contemporary male youths from father-absent households, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Hypotheses test the contribution of socioeconomic disadvantage, poverty, family instability, residential adults in father-absent households, as well as selection bias. Results from longitudinal event history analysis show that while certain unfavorable circumstances, such as teen motherhood, low parent education, urban residence, racial inequalities and poverty, are associated with incarceration among father-absent youths, net of these factors, these youths still face double the odds of their peers. Nonetheless, youths from stepparent families are even more vulnerable to the risk of incarceration, especially those in father-stepmother households, which suggests that the re-marriage may present even greater difficulties for male children than father absence. (Author abstract), numerous references.
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