Life after foster care: The impact of aging out of foster care on college transition

Student(s):

Telissah Roseboro, Junior, Psychology, College of Arts and Letters

Faculty Mentor(s):

Dr. LaSonya Townsend, Johnson C. Smith University

Abstract:

Foster care youth experience many issues through their transition from foster care services to college, yet are the least represented on college campuses. However, little research examines the transitioning process of these students and the coping mechanisms that are most efficient in this transition. Literature provides an overview of the challenges that these students face. The percentage of students that graduate from post-secondary institutions who have aged out of foster care is low and there is a need to understand how these students cope. The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of foster care youth aging out of the foster care system and their transition to post-secondary education. The researcher hypothesized that factors associated with support, resources and coping strategies impact college transition for students that age out of foster care. The study utilized the Schlossberg’s Transition Theory to analyze the patterns amongst these students and their transition. This qualitative study was conducted by interviewing 5 students out of the 20 to be interviewed at a historically Black university. Preliminary results revealed many themes by conducting a content analysis. Preliminary results revealed three themes that were significant which are: students’ sense of a positive self-efficacy, aspirations to have a high GPA as well as excitement in having positive social interactions. Results also showed that aging out of foster care did not impact students’ grades, but did motivate them to be successful. These preliminary findings suggest that foster care youth aging out of the foster care system are often self-motivated individuals even when not receiving support from outside sources.

Poster:

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