The Relationship between Youth Police Stops and Depression among Fathers

Publication Year


Journal Article

Research shows youth police contact—a stressor experienced by more than one-quarter of urban-born youth by age 15—has deleterious mental health consequences for both youth and their mothers. Less is known about how youth’s fathers respond to this police contact, despite differences in how men and women respond to stress and relate to their children. I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to investigate the association between youth police stops and depression among youth’s fathers. Results show that fathers of youth stopped by the police, compared to fathers of youth not stopped by the police, are more likely to report depression, net of father and youth characteristics associated with selection into experiencing youth police stops. This association is concentrated among non-Black fathers and fathers of girls. The findings highlight how the repercussions of youth criminal legal contact extend to youth’s fathers and, more broadly, suggest that future research incorporate the responses of men connected to those enduring criminal legal contact.

Journal of Urban Health
Date Published