Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
Kathryn C. Gerken
It is essential that research be conducted regarding both the needs of and the outcomes for children placed outside of their biological homes. According to AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report), approximately 408,425 children in the United States were in foster care in 2010 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2011a). In addition to the large number of children and adolescents in foster care, there are a disproportionate number of U.S. racial/ethnic minority children in foster care and other out-of-home placements (Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, 2004; Schwartz, 2007; Smith & Devore, 2004). Specifically, African American children are overrepresented in the foster care system compared to either other racial/ethnic groups (U.S. DHHS, 2011b). Approximately 45% of foster parents report caring for children of a different racial ethnic background than their own (Coakley & Orme, 2006). The majority of actual outcome studies regarding transracial placements for children focus on psychological adjustment, and the results are mixed (Brown, George, Sintzel, & Arnault, 2009; Burrow & Finley, 2004; Keller et al., 2001; Moffatt & Thoburn, 2001).However, there is very limited research on the relationship between race/ ethnicity of caregivers in residential settings and the outcomes for children of different racial/ethnic groups.
The purpose of the current study was to extend the Jewell et al. (2010) investigation by measuring the youth's behavioral functioning in a family teaching home throughout their stay in a residential setting. The major aims of this study were to (a) investigate the relations between type of family home placement (inracial vs. transracial) and behavioral outcomes for the youth and (b) identify the key variables to consider for placement of racial/ethnic minority youth in a family-style residential treatment center. Results of the study indicate that overall youth placed in inracial family teaching homes had better behavioral outcomes than youth placed in transracial family teaching homes. The current study suggests that both racial/ethnic groups (African American and European American) benefitted from being placed in inracial versus transracial family home settings. Age, gender and race/ethnicity did not appear to be contributing to the behaviors of the youth as much as type of placement (inracial versus transracial).
African American, children and adolescents, inracial, residential care, teaching family model, transracial
ix, 121 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 112-121).
Copyright 2012 Candyce Rose Briggs