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Dept. of African American Studies John B. Slaughter Endowment Lecture by Dr. Kristin Turney

“The Waiting Game”: The Pervasiveness and Proliferation of Anticipatory Stress During Jail Incarceration
When Oct 26, 2022
from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Zoom
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The Department of African American Studies and the Judge Alexander Williams Center for Education, Justice, and Ethics welcomes Professor Kristin Turney for a special event guest lecture to overview her Jail and Family Life Study as part of the John B. Slaughter Endowment Lecture Series.

The abstract of her study cites: "Scholars propose that anticipatory stress–a notable but relatively understudied concept in the stress process paradigm that focuses on worries about the future–may explain some of the deleterious health repercussions of incarceration. In this paper, we use nearly 500 in-depth interviews with incarcerated men and their family members to systematically describe the anticipatory stress stemming from jail incarceration. First, we identify three aspects of anticipatory stress related to jail incarceration–specifically, possibility of major changes, irrationality, and powerlessness–that are particularly salient for men. Anticipatory stress surrounding case adjudication is most common but men also describe anticipatory stress about their family relationships while incarcerated, the wellbeing of their loved ones, and reintegration after release. Second, we describe how these aspects of anticipatory stress proliferate to family members. Third, we highlight how incarcerated men and their family members cope with anticipatory stress. Overall, by describing entanglement in the criminal legal system through the lens of anticipatory stress, this study provides a framework for understanding how early stages of criminal legal contact–even without exposure to later stages of criminal legal contact such as prison incarceration–contribute to health inequalities among incarcerated people and their family members."

About the Speaker:

Kristin Turney is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research, stemming from a rich tradition of social stratification inquiry, investigates the complex and dynamic role of families in creating, maintaining, and exacerbating social inequalities. In unraveling puzzles about family inequality, and about how the institution of the family interacts with other societal institutions (e.g., the educational system, the penal system), she uses a variety of theoretical perspectives, methodological strategies, and population-based data sources.

Much of Turney’s current research examines the consequences of criminal justice contact for family life. In this vein, she investigates the deleterious, beneficial, and inconsequential effects of criminal justice contact on the wellbeing of children and families over time; considers heterogeneity in the relationship between parental incarceration and family inequality; and evaluates the family, school and neighborhood mechanisms through which parental incarceration fosters resilience among children. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript, What Doing Time Does to Families: Incarceration and Family Life in the United States. In other ongoing work, she and a team of graduate students are interviewing jail inmates and their family members—including current and former romantic partners, children, and mothers—both during their incarceration and after release.

Other research projects examine the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and wellbeing throughout the life course; the consequences of relationship churning for family and child wellbeing; and how parental physical and mental health contributes to wide-ranging inequalities within and across generations. These substantive interests are accompanied by a methodological interest in causal inference.

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