Does poor school performance cause later psychosocial problems among children in foster care? Evidence from national longitudinal registry data
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, E-ISSN 1873-7757, Vol. 57, 61-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research has shown that children in foster care are a high-risk group for adverse economic, social and health related outcomes in young adulthood. Children's poor school performance has been identified as a major risk factor for these poor later life outcomes. Aiming to support the design of effective intervention strategies, this study examines the hypothesized causal effect of foster children's poor school performance on subsequent psychosocial problems, here conceptualized as economic hardship, illicit drug use, and mental health problems, in young adulthood. Using the potential outcomes approach, longitudinal register data on more than 7500 Swedish foster children born 1973–1978 were analyzed by means of doubly robust treatment-effect estimators. The results show that poor school performance has a negative impact on later psychosocial problems net of observed background attributes and potential selection on unobservables, suggesting that the estimated effects allow for causal interpretations. Promotion of school performance may thus be a viable intervention path for policymakers and practitioners interested in improving foster children's overall life chances.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 57, 61-71 p.
foster care, school performance, causal effect, longitudinal, cohort study
fosterbarn, skolprestationer, kausal effekt, longitudinell, kohortstudie
Research subject Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131456DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.06.006ISI: 000379379300007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131456DiVA: diva2:939794