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Measurement Error in the Reported Reasons for Entry into the Foster Care System


  • Debra Dwyer



To date, much of the research on foster dependence hinges on the validity of the reasons for entry into the foster care system. Yet, no one has tested these data. Since these reasons for entry help to assess individual differences in foster care children, the purpose of this study is to more closely examine these reasons. Using data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System, we begin with exploratory factor analysis on the reported reasons for entry. Next, we specify and test a structural measurement error model of reasons for entry. The reported reasons for entry are not mutually exclusive. Rather, there are five significant commonalities across these various indicators. The commonalities are combined across the reported reasons for entry into the foster care system to create a set of mutually exclusive factors that represent reasons. We apply these factors to a model of dependence on the foster care system. Compared to a model that includes all of the individual indicators, we are able to get a better idea of the kinds of children that are at risk for delayed exits from foster care.

Suggested Citation

  • Debra Dwyer, 2001. "Measurement Error in the Reported Reasons for Entry into the Foster Care System," Department of Economics Working Papers 01-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:01-01

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    1. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
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    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs


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