All Publications

  • The strain of sons' incarceration on mothers' health. Social science & medicine (1982) Sirois, C. 2020; 264: 113264


    Research on disadvantage across generations typically focuses on the resources that parents pass on to their children. Yet, social disadvantage might also result from the transmission of adverse experiences from children to their parents. This paper explores one such adverse experience by examining the influence of a son's incarceration on his mother's health. Using panel data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and its young adult follow up (n=2651 mothers; 18,390 observations), the paper shows that mothers are more likely to suffer health limitations after a son is incarcerated. A time-distributed fixed effects analysis indicates that the effect on maternal health may persist or even grow over time. Rather than a short-term shock whose effect soon diminishes, a son's incarceration is a long-term strain on mothers' health. The disproportionate incarceration of young men in disadvantaged communities is thus likely to contribute to cumulative adversity among mothers already at risk of severe hardship. More broadly, the results suggest how children's adverse experiences may influence parental well-being, producing further disadvantage across generations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113264

    View details for PubMedID 33002842

  • Household Support and Social Integration in the Year After Prison SOCIOLOGICAL FORUM Sirois, C. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1111/socf.12549

    View details for Web of Science ID 000486502200001

  • Racialized Re-entry: Labor Market Inequality After Incarceration SOCIAL FORCES Western, B., Sirois, C. 2019; 97 (4): 1517–42

    View details for DOI 10.1093/sf/soy096

    View details for Web of Science ID 000493319100017

  • Restrictive Immigration Law and Birth Outcomes of Immigrant Women AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY Torche, F., Sirois, C. 2019; 188 (1): 24–33

    View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwy218

    View details for Web of Science ID 000465359900005

  • Study retention as bias reduction in a hard-to-reach population PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Western, B., Braga, A., Hureau, D., Sirois, C. 2016; 113 (20): 5477-5485


    Collecting data from hard-to-reach populations is a key challenge for research on poverty and other forms of extreme disadvantage. With data from the Boston Reentry Study (BRS), we document the extreme marginality of released prisoners and the related difficulties of study retention and analysis. Analysis of the BRS data yields three findings. First, released prisoners show high levels of "contact insecurity," correlated with social insecurity, in which residential addresses and contact information change frequently. Second, strategies for data collection are available to sustain very high rates of study participation. Third, survey nonresponse in highly marginal populations is strongly nonignorable, closely related to social and economic vulnerability. The BRS response rate of 94% over a 1-y follow-up period allows analysis of hypothetically high nonresponse rates. In this setting, nonresponse attenuates regression estimates in analyses of housing insecurity, drug use, and unemployment. These results suggest that in the analysis of very poor and disadvantaged populations, methods that maximize study participation reduce bias and yield data that can usefully supplement large-scale household or administrative data collections.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1604138113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375977600022

    View details for PubMedID 27162332

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4878522

  • Stress and Hardship after Prison AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY Western, B., Braga, A. A., Davis, J., Sirois, C. 2015; 120 (5): 1512–47


    The historic increase in U.S. incarceration rates made the transition from prison to community common for poor, prime-age men and women. Leaving prison presents the challenge of social integration--of connecting with family and finding housing and a means of subsistence. The authors study variation in social integration in the first months after prison release with data from the Boston Reentry Study, a unique panel survey of 122 newly released prisoners. The data indicate severe material hardship immediately after incarceration. Over half of sample respondents were unemployed, two-thirds received public assistance, and many relied on female relatives for financial support and housing. Older respondents and those with histories of addiction and mental illness were the least socially integrated, with weak family ties, unstable housing, and low levels of employment. Qualitative interviews show that anxiety and feelings of isolation accompanied extreme material insecurity. Material insecurity combined with the adjustment to social life outside prison creates a stress of transition that burdens social relationships in high-incarceration communities.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/681301

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355348100006

    View details for PubMedID 26421345