Raymond R. Swisher

Professor of Sociology, Bowling Green State University

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About Raymond

Swisher’s research examines risk factors in the lives of low-income families, and their consequences for family and youth well-being. One recent area of research examines the consequences of parental incarceration for adolescents, with published work documenting associations with elevated levels of depression, delinquency, crime, and substance use. Other research has examined the consequences of neighborhood poverty and exposure to violence for adolescent depression, own violence, and survival expectations. Most recently he is examining trajectories of disadvantaged neighborhood experiences between adolescence and early adulthood, with a focus on inequalities across racial and ethnic subgroups in the United States. Swisher teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to these research areas, and infuses a strong social policy component in his teaching.



"Educational Pathways and Change in Crime Between Adolescence and Early Adulthood" (with Christopher Dennison). Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 53, no. 6 (2016): 840-871.

Examines the relationship between intergenerational educational pathways and change in crime. Explores the potential mediating roles of family and employment transitions, economic stressors, and social psychological factors.

"The Effect of Direct and Indirect Exposure to Violence on Youth Survival Expectations " (with Tara D. Warner). Journal of Adolescent Health 55, no. 6 (2014): 817-822.

Discusses the effect of direct and indirect exposures to violence-across various contexts- on adolescents' survival expectations. Highlights that violence exposure severely compromises individuals' optimism about the future and places them at risk for behaviors that can further undermine well-being.

"Father’s Incarceration and Youth Delinquency and Depression: Examining Differences by Race and Ethnicity" (with Michael E. Roettger). Journal of Research on Adolescence 22, no. 4 (2012): 597-603.
Shows that father’s incarceration is strongly and positively associated with adolescent depression and serious delinquency using nationally representative data in the United States. Differences in these associations across White, Black, and Hispanic subgroups were minimal.
"Paternal Incarceration and Trajectories of Marijuana and Other Illegal Drug Use from Adolescence into Young Adulthood: Evidence from Longitudinal Panels of Males and Females in the United States" (with Michael E. Roettger, Daniel Kuhl, and Jorge Chavez). Addiction 106, no. 1 (2011): 121-132.
Finds, using nationally representative and longitudinal data, that paternal incarceration is associated with elevated levels of marijuana and other illegal drug use, for both males and females in adolescence and young adulthood.
"Associations of Fathers’ History of Incarceration with Sons’ Delinquency and Arrest among Black, White, and Hispanic Males in the United States" (with Michael E. Roettger). Criminology 49, no. 4 (2011): 1109-1147.
Examines the inter-generational connection between father’s incarceration and son’s delinquency and arrest. Associations are similar across racial and ethnic subgroups.
"Confining Fatherhood: Incarceration and Paternal Involvement among Nonresident White, African American, and Latino Fathers" (with Maureen Waller). Journal of Family Issues 29 (2008): 1067-1088.
Uses data from the Fragile Families Project to find that father’s incarceration presents serious obstacles to the ability of non-resident fathers to maintain contact with children, and interferes with the establishment of formal financial support agreements. These associations were most pronounced among non-Hispanic White fathers, and less so among African American and Hispanic fathers.
"Fathers' Risk Factors in Fragile Families: Implications for 'Healthy' Relationships and Father Involvement" (with Maureen Waller). Social Problems 53, no. 3 (2006): 392-420.
Examines a variety of risk factors in the lives of unmarried fathers, including physical abuse, problematic substance use, and incarceration. Using longitudinal and nationally representative data from the Fragile Families project the authors find that nearly half of unmarried fathers have at least one of these risk factors, and that each risk factor is negatively associated with the father’s involvement with his children. Qualitative interviews further illustrate the strategies that mothers and fathers use to manage these risk factors, including mother’s selection out of relationships they perceive as unhealthy, mother’s limiting and monitoring father’s access to children, and in some cases, co-parenting efforts to maintain father involvement while minimizing risks to their children.