Hemmings, Laura Toni (2011)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Young people in foster care are at an increased risk of placement breakdown (Selwyn & Quinton, 2004; Ward & Skuse, 2001), which can have a significant effect on their psychological well-being (Oosterman, Schuengel, Wim Slot, Bullens, & Doreleijers, 2007). Research within this area has focused upon what causes placement breakdown to the detriment of identifying factors that may contribute to promoting placement success. This study uses a positive psychology approach to explore the variables that predict placement success for young people aged 12 to 18 growing up in foster care. Fifty-one young people consented to take part. The research focused specifically on their attachment relationship with foster carers and peers, their level of resilience, self-esteem and pro-social behaviours. Placement success was measured by achievement of health and well-being targets set out by the Every Child Matters outcome framework. A correlation analysis found that a significant positive relationship between a young person’s self-esteem and placement success. Relationships between other variables were observed and reported. Limitations of the study are discussed, together with recommendations for future research and clinical practice within the Looked After Child field.
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