Critique of a Research Article about Incarceration in the Household by Loper & Nichols (2012)

Critique of a Research Article about Incarceration in the Household by Loper & Nichols (2012)

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Background
In a study of children that had a family member or family associate incarcerated prior to their 18th birthday, Loper & Nichols (2012) attempted to address the impact that such incarceration had on such children. It was expected, consistent with previous literature, that household incarceration would have an impact on academic outcomes. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship between household incarceration and two outcomes: failure to graduate high school and extended school absence. Loper and Nichols (2012) examined three factors:
1. If youth with incarcerated household members experienced more social and economic adversity and worse school outcomes than the rest of the sample.
2. Whether household member incarceration accounted for differences in school outcomes, above and beyond the measured economic adversities.
3. The influence of the specific relation (parent, sibling, other household member) of the prisoner on the youth’s school outcomes.
The research used for this study is from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Child and Youth survey of 2010, which is current and relevant. It also is based on research conducted on the child instead of the parent. Current literature suggests that researchers move towards a child-centered perspective, as opposed to a parent-centered perspective. Focusing on the child, allows researchers to access the impact of parental incarceration on the child (Phillips, 2010). The significance of this study is articulated by the authors as giving directions for more specific interventions based on school experiences based on how these children differ from their peers.
Loper and Nichols (2012) identify several relevant theories surrounding their hypothesis. The f...


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... model. Psychological Review, 101(4), 568–586.
Dallaire, D., Ciccone, A., & Wilson, L. (2010). Teachers’ experiences with and expectations of children with incarcerated parents. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 281–290.
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. (2010). National longitudinal survey of youth: Child and young adult dataset [data file]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy79.html.
Nichols, E., & Loper, A. (2012). Incarceration in the Household: Academic Outcomes of Adolescents with an Incarcerated Household Member. Journal Of Youth & Adolescence, 41(11), 1455-1471. doi:10.1007/s10964-012-9780-9
Phillips, S. D. (2010). The past as prologue: Parental incarceration, service planning and intervention development in context. In J. Poehlmann & M. Eddy (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents (pp. 13–32). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

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