Race, incarceration, and health: A life-course approach

Andrew S. London, Nancy A. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Significant racial disparities in health outcomes have been consistently documented in the United States. Life-course and population-health models are often used to explain these disparities, but they generally do not take incarceration effects into account. Incarceration may have direct effects on health, but it is more likely to indirectly affect health by shaping employment, income, and marital trajectories. The authors contend that the failure of health researchers to take incarceration effects into account is problematic given the large increase in the incarceration of Black men over the past few decades. Moreover, because large numbers of incarcerated Black men are not present in research samples, racial disparities in health outcomes may be underestimated. Incarceration effects should be included in life-course and population-health models, study designs, and policy development processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-422
Number of pages14
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Health
  • Life course
  • Prison
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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