Foster Care Alumni Achievement in Higher Education: the Role of Trauma

Abstract

Foster care alumni lag behind the general population in post-secondary academic achievement. This cross-sectional study uses a random sample of forty-six foster care alumni from a Midwestern public university to explore the relationship between exposure to trauma and post-secondary academic achievement (14.5% response rate; age range 17–24). While no significant relationship was found between trauma exposure and GPA or failing classes, participants who experienced increased exposure to trauma were more likely to have withdrawn from a class because it was too difficult or the semester was too overwhelming. More research is needed to further understand these findings.

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Funding

This research was supported by the Michigan State University School of Social Work. The School assisted in data collection, but did not have a role in study design or analysis and interpretation of data.

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Correspondence to Joshua D. Bishop.

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The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Bishop, J.D., Prock, K., Seon, J. et al. Foster Care Alumni Achievement in Higher Education: the Role of Trauma. Journ Child Adol Trauma 12, 323–330 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-018-0225-9

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Keywords

  • Foster care
  • Academic achievement
  • Postsecondary education
  • Trauma