Factors associated with two types of child custody loss among a sample of African American mothers: A novel approach

Kathi L.H. Harp, Carrie B. Oser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

African American families are overrepresented in the Child Welfare System; however, extant research on this phenomenon has (1) focused mostly on Caucasian or mixed-race samples and (2) has not examined informal custody arrangements alongside official child custody loss. This research addresses these gaps in the literature by examining factors associated with both official and informal child custody loss among a sample of African American mothers. Multinomial regression results show that having ever been incarcerated following a conviction increases the odds of experiencing both types of custody loss relative to no loss. Additionally, mother's experiences of childhood victimization increase the likelihood of informal custody loss relative to no loss, while being older, past year homelessness, number of minor children, being lesbian or bisexual, crack/cocaine use, and more family social support increase the odds of official loss versus no loss. Finally, increases in social support from friends decrease the odds of official loss. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • African American
  • Child maltreatment
  • Custody loss
  • Kinship care
  • Motherhood
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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