Katherine E. Marçal (Social Work) published an article, "Housing Insecurity and adolescent Well-being: Relationships with Child Welfare and Criminal Justice Involvement" in Child Abuse & Neglect. With co-author Kathryn Maguire-Jack (University of Michigan), Marçal investigated the roles of contact with the child welfare and criminal justice systems in links between housing insecurity and adverse adolescent outcomes. Structural equation modeling estimated a measurement model using confirmatory factor analysis and a structural model testing direct and indirect pathways from housing insecurity to adolescent depression and delinquency via contact with the criminal justice and child welfare systems. Housing insecurity was associated with increased contact with both the criminal justice and child welfare systems. Housing insecurity at age 5 was directly associated with adolescent depression at age 15 (β = 0.09, p < 0.05) and indirectly associated with adolescent delinquency via mothers’ criminal justice (β = 0.04, p < 0.05) and child welfare (β = 0.07, p < 0.05) contacts. Families with high needs may face stigma or seek assistance that increases surveillance of families and thus likelihood for sanctioning by the criminal justice and child welfare systems. Providers and systems working with low-income, insecurely housed families must consider stigma faced by clients to avoid further marginalizing underserved populations.
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