Youth emancipating from foster care have been found to be at higher risk for many adverse outcomes.Only one prior published study exists, however, about the dating violence experiences of foster youth.Self-reported PTSD symptoms and drug use were associated with higher likelihood of dating violence victimization.
These challenges impact the emotional and social development of foster care youth as they transition into adulthood.
Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Connections to non-parental adults through informal mentoring is reported to enhance the outcomes of foster care youth in education/employment, psychological well-being, and physical health.
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Youth who had the support of a mentor also demonstrated a decreased participation in unhealthy behaviors, such as unprotected sexual activity, alcohol and substance abuse, and delinquent activities.
When youth "age out" of the child welfare system with limited connections or without the support of positive, caring adults, they may have an increased risk of facing the following challenges: Unstable housing or homelessness.
Asking similar questions about dating violence, this study attempted to replicate the prior findings regarding prevalence and to explore associations between foster care placement history, maltreatment history and mental health/substance abuse and self-reported dating violence.
The youth reported a higher prevalence of dating violence than found in studies of the general youth population.