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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221235 Find in a Library
Title: Predictors of Adult Quality of Life for Foster Care Alumni with Physical and/or Psychiatric Disabilities
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:31  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:1087-1100
Author(s): Tina M. Anctil; Laurie D. McCubbin; Kirk O'Brien; Peter Pecora; Cheryl A. Anderson-Harumi
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The study assessed the outcomes of foster care alumni who were diagnosed with a physical or psychiatric disability while in foster care.
Abstract: Results indicated that alumni with disabilities had significantly lower economic and health outcomes, and reported lower educational attainment, more difficulty paying monthly bills, more psychiatric diagnoses, and worse physical health than their unimpaired counterparts. For alumni with disabilities, receiving special education services and experiencing sexual abuse while in foster care were significant risk factors for poor self-esteem; conversely, receiving services and resources that prepared foster care alumni for leaving foster care predicted better outcomes. Foster care alumni with disabilities had a significantly poorer quality of life in adulthood than their nondisabled counterparts. However, the study also found that protective factors positively predicted more educational attainment and better self-esteem in adulthood. Those who received special education services and experienced sexual abuse while in foster care might be at the greatest risk for poor self-esteem and could therefore benefit from services that enhance self-esteem. In terms of policy implications, transition services and resources that prepare foster care alumni for leaving foster care were positive predictors of better outcomes. Ultimately, because of the multiple risk factors experienced by all children and youth in foster care, these findings have provided a foundation for future research that might determine how service predictors operate for youth with specific types of disabilities. Such research serves to inform policymakers on how protective factors might differ in various vulnerable populations, as well as to promote the development of new evidence-based treatments. Data were collected through interviews with individual from the Casey National Alumni Study which included 1,609 foster care alumni who had been placed with a Casey foster family for 12 months or more between 1966 and 1998, and had been discharged from foster care for at least 12 months prior to the initiation of the study; 507 of those alumni had documented disabilities. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Foster adolescents; Foster homes
Index Term(s): Educational levels; Ethnicity; Mental disorders; Psychological evaluation; Treatment effectiveness
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