The advisability of kinship foster placements: A comparison of adaptive behaviors and psychopathology of children in traditional and kinship foster care

Susan Ann Belanger, Fordham University

Abstract

The adaptive behavior and psychopathology of children between the ages of 5 and 12 years, in kinship and non-kinship foster care from a large city child welfare system, were assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Interview Edition (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984) and the Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1994) respectively. The temperament “match,” defined as positive aspects of temperament on 2 dimensions, flexibility and mood, as assessed by the Dimensions of Temperament Survey-Revised (Windle & Lerner, 1986; Lerner, Palermo, Spiro & Nesselroade, 1982), between the foster parent and foster child, and quality of the foster home environments, as assessed by the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory (Caldwell & Bradley, 1984) and Supplement to the HOME Inventory for Impoverished Families (Ertem, Avni-Singer & Forsyth, 1994) were also assessed. Adaptive behavior and levels of psychopathology were compared between children in both types of care. Results indicated that children in kinship care have significantly better levels of adaptive behavior than children in non-kinship foster care. Analysis of the children's levels of psychopathology did not reveal significant differences between children in kinship and non-kinship foster care. It was also hypothesized that the interaction of home environment, temperament match and type of placement would account for more of the variance in the foster children's functioning that type of placement alone. Regression analysis revealed that Type of Placement accounted for most of the explained variance in R2 (18%) followed by the three-way interaction of Type of Placement, Home Index and Temperament Match, which accounted for 9% of the total explained variance. ^ Another regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between the independent variables of Type of Placement, Home Index, Temperament Match Index and performance on the DSMD. Regression analysis did not reveal significant results. The finding was not surprising considering the results of earlier t-tests which indicated that kinship and non-kinship groups did not differ significantly in psychopathology as indicated by of the Composite Scores or the Total Score on the DSMD. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Susan Ann Belanger, "The advisability of kinship foster placements: A comparison of adaptive behaviors and psychopathology of children in traditional and kinship foster care" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3037209.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3037209

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