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Helping youth in care succeed: Influence of caregiver involvement on academic achievement

Listed author(s):
  • Cheung, Connie
  • Lwin, Kristen
  • Jenkins, Jennifer M.
Registered author(s):

    The current study examined the influence of the placement on academic outcomes in youth receiving out-of-home care. A two-level multilevel model was used to partition variance in youth in care's academic success scores into placement and child-specific levels of influence. Associations between caregiver involvement and academic success in youth in care were also examined. Assessment and Action Record (AAR) data from the Ontario Looking after Children (OnLAC) project were analyzed. The sample included data from 687 youth between 10 and 15years of age (M age=12.99years, SD=1.68), with slightly more boys (n=389) than girls (n=298). While individual differences in academic success were primarily attributable to child-specific effects (85%), 15% of the variance can be attributable to differences between placements. Results also suggested that caregivers who provided more academic support at home and a more positive literacy environment were also more likely to care for youth with higher levels of academic success. Surprisingly, caregiver school-based involvement was not significantly associated with academic achievement in youth in care. Lastly, higher levels of caregiver expectations within the placement and youth's own differential experience were both associated with more academic success. These results suggest that academic outcomes of youth in care may be influenced by the placement in which they live.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1092-1100

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:6:p:1092-1100
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.033
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    1. Jon Rasbash & George Leckie & Rebecca Pillinger & Jennifer Jenkins, 2010. "Children's educational progress: partitioning family, school and area effects," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(3), pages 657-682.
    2. Cheung, Connie & Goodman, Deborah & Leckie, George & Jenkins, Jennifer M., 2011. "Understanding contextual effects on externalizing behaviors in children in out-of-home care: Influence of workers and foster families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 2050-2060, October.
    3. Barnard, Wendy Miedel, 2004. "Parent involvement in elementary school and educational attainment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 39-62, January.
    4. Schiff, Miriam & Benbenishty, Rami, 2006. "Functioning of Israeli group-homes alumni: Exploring gender differences and in-care correlates," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 133-157, February.
    5. Berrick, Jill Duerr & Barth, Richard P. & Needell, Barbara, 1994. "A comparison of kinship foster homes and foster family homes: Implications for kinship foster care as family preservation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 33-63.
    6. Trout, Alexandra L. & Hagaman, Jessica & Casey, Kathryn & Reid, Robert & Epstein, Michael H., 2008. "The academic status of children and youth in out-of-home care: A review of the literature," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 979-994, September.
    7. Slade, Eric P. & Wissow, Lawrence S., 2007. "The influence of childhood maltreatment on adolescents' academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 604-614, October.
    8. Stone, Susan, 2007. "Child maltreatment, out-of-home placement and academic vulnerability: A fifteen-year review of evidence and future directions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 139-161, February.
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