This brief contributes to our knowledge of the challenges faced by children with incarcerated fathers by examining the effect of paternal incarceration on child homelessness. Specifically, it explores three mechanisms by which father incarceration may lead to child homelessness, including weakening family finances, limiting children's access to institutional and informal supports, and reducing mothers' capacities and capabilities. It also examines the extent to which this relationship is concentrated among black children and tests concerns of spuriousness, the possibility that both incarceration and homelessness are results of a third factor such as domestic violence or substance abuse.Evidence for a causal relationship would imply that the prison boom may have contributed to recent rises in child homelessness. (Author abstract modified)
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