This study examines the effects of incarceration on the health of urban fathers. Using the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, which surveys parents in 20 large U.S. cities across the country, the relationship between fathers' incarceration patterns and health status was examined while controlling for poor preexisting health and individual impulsivity. Findings indicate that fathers who have previously been incarcerated at some time are markedly more likely to rely on medications for physical or mental health problems, whereas recently incarcerated repeat offenders have reduced odds of being in poor health relative to those who have never been to prison. Improvements in health among recently incarcerated repeat offenders relative to those who have not been incarcerated may be related to prison health care and the overall disadvantaged circumstances of these fathers.
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