Protective and Adverse Experiences: Young Adult Voices on Parental Incarceration in Adolescence

Carrie Jefferson Smith, Morgan T. Secoy, Diane S. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental incarceration represents a life-altering event for children and families. This study speaks beyond the statistics, highlighting the voices of fourteen young adults who experienced parental incarceration during adolescence. Participants shared their retrospective experiences through interviews focused on the following qualitative research questions: 1) What adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) did participants identify? and 2) What supports or protective factors did participants experience? Participants identified various ACEs, with 11 out of 14 participants revealing four or more. Key areas of support include family, school, friends, and extracurricular activities. Findings have implications for practitioners assisting children and families affected by criminal justice involvement, and for organizations most likely to play a pivotal role in addressing children’s needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • criminal justice
  • health and mental health
  • juvenile justice-criminal justice
  • trauma and resiliency
  • urban children
  • youth and families-urban social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Protective and Adverse Experiences: Young Adult Voices on Parental Incarceration in Adolescence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this