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ERIC Number: EJ944592
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0890-8567
Trajectories of Behavioral Adjustment Following Early Placement in Foster Care: Predicting Stability and Change over 8 Years
Proctor, Laura J.; Skriner, Laura C.; Roesch, Scott; Litrownik, Alan J.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, v49 n5 p464-473 May 2010
Objective: To identify trajectories of behavioral adjustment from age 6 through 14 years for youth placed in early foster care, and to examine links between trajectories and early cognitive ability and social competence, caregiver stability, and frequency, timing, and type of maltreatment. Method: Participants were 279 youth from the Southwest site of the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). All youth had spent at least 5 months in out-of-home care before age 4 years because of substantiated reports of maltreatment. Behavioral adjustment was assessed using caregiver reports on the Child Behavior Checklist at ages 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14. Cognitive ability and social competence were assessed at age 6. Caregiver stability was recorded every 2 years from age 6 through 14 years and summed. Child protective services (CPS) maltreatment reports were coded for type and frequency. Results: Growth mixture modeling identified three internalizing trajectories: stable adjustment (66.7%), mixed/decreasing adjustment (25.4%), and increasing adjustment (7.9%). Four externalizing trajectories were identified: stable adjustment (46.6%), mixed adjustment (28.7%), increasing adjustment (8.2%), and stable maladjustment (16.5%). Trajectories of stable or increasing adjustment were predicted by social competence, cognitive ability, placement stability, and low frequency of physical abuse from ages 6 through 14. Conclusions: Many youth who have spent time in early out-of-home care evidence stable, long-term positive behavioral adjustment. Trajectories reflecting more positive adjustment are associated with early child cognitive ability and social competence, long-term caregiver stability, and low frequency of physical abuse in middle childhood and adolescence. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A