Sociology, Department of
Date of this Version
Although homeless youth with and without foster care histories both face adverse life circumstances, little is known about how these two groups compare in terms of their early histories and whether they face similar outcomes. As such, we compared those with and without a history of foster care placement to determine if the associations between a history of poor parenting and negative outcomes including depression, delinquency, physical and sexual victimization, and substance use, are similar for these two groups. The sample consisted of 172 homeless young adults from the Midwestern United States. Multivariate results revealed that among those previously in foster care, a history of physical abuse and neglect were positively associated with more depressive symptoms whereas sexual abuse and neglect were related to delinquency and physical victimization. Additionally, lower caretaker monitoring was linked to greater delinquent participation. Among those without a history of foster care, physical abuse was related to more depressive symptoms whereas sexual abuse was positively correlated with delinquency, sexual victimization, and substance use. Furthermore, lower monitoring was related to more substance use. Our findings are discussed in terms of a social stress framework and we review the implications of foster care placement for homeless young adults.
Published in Journal of Child and Family Studies 19 (2010), pp. 787–794; doi: 10.1007/s10826-010-9370-y Copyright © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Used by permission.