Children exposed to the arrest of a family member: Associations with mental health.

TitleChildren exposed to the arrest of a family member: Associations with mental health.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRoberts, Y. Humenay, Snyder F. J., Kaufman J. S., Finley M. K., Griffin A., Anderson J., Marshall T., Radway S., Stack V., & Crusto C. A.
JournalJ Child Fam Stud
Volume23
Issue2
Pagination214-244
Date Published2014 Feb 1
ISSN1062-1024
Abstract

The arrest of a parent or other family member can be detrimental to children’s health. To study the impact of exposure to the arrest of a family member on children’s mental health and how said association may change across developmental periods, we examined baseline data for children (birth through 11 years) entering family-based systems of care (SOC). Children exposed to the arrest of a family member had experienced significantly more 5.38 (SD = 2.59) different types of potentially traumatic events (PTE) than children not exposed to arrest 2.84 (SD = 2.56). Multiple regression model results showed that arrest exposure was significantly associated with greater behavioral and emotional challenges after controlling for children’s age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, caregiver’s education, parenting factors, and other PTE exposure. Further analyses revealed differences in internalizing and externalizing behaviors associated with arrest exposure across developmental levels. This study highlights some of the mental health challenges for children exposed to the arrest of a family member, while adding to our knowledge of how such an event affects children across different developmental periods. More trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate systems need to be in place at all levels to assist children and families experiencing arrest.

DOI10.1007/s10826-013-9717-2
Alternate JournalJ Child Fam Stud
PubMed ID24829537
PubMed Central IDPMC4016966
Grant ListT32 DA019426 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States