Jump to navigation
Contextual And Child History Predictors Of Internalizing And Externalizing Behavior Problems In Foster Children
Perry, Kristin Jane
Price, Joseph MYeh, MayHokoda, Audrey
viii, 52 pages
Foster children experience behavior problems at a much greater rate than their community counterparts. These increased behavior problems lead to undesirable outcomes, such as a greater number of placements, less academic success, and a lower likelihood of reunification with the biological parents. Research on internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in foster children has yet to produce any definitive conclusions on what predicts high levels of child behavior problems. This study aims to contribute to current research on foster children's behavior problems by analyzing a more comprehensive set of predictors comprising child history and contextual variables. Child history predictors include the reason for removal from the child's primary caregivers, the number of prior placements, and the type of prior placements. Contextual predictors include the child's placement in kinship vs. non- kinship care, the number of other children in the home, the length of time in the present placement, the foster parent's stress level, presence of a sibling, and the behavior problems of the other children in the home. The Child Behavior Checklist was used to assess internalizing and externalizing behavior problems using raw scores. A linear hierarchical regression was used to assess each set of predictor's effect on behavior problems as well as each individual predictor's effect. Participants were 354 foster children from San Diego County whose foster or kinship parents are participants in KEEP, a foster parent training intervention. Data were collected at the baseline of the intervention program prior to any intervention services using parent phone interviews. Results indicate that as a set, the contextual variables predicted a significant and unique amount of variability in the child's internalizing and externalizing behavior scores. Specifically, greater externalizing behavior scores were associated with the child's placement in a non-kinship home, a non-ethnically matched child-parent pair, higher parent stress scores, and higher internalizing behavior scores for the child. Greater internalizing behavior scores were associated with higher parent stress scores, higher sibling externalizing behavior scores, and higher externalizing behavior scores for the child. Implications for intervention services are discussed, particularly the importance of assessing the child's foster home environment when addressing the child's behavior problems.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-42).
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2015
© 2015 SDSU Library & Information Access. All Rights Reserved.