Adverse Childhood Experiences and Poor Mental Health Outcomes Among Racially Diverse Foster Care Alumni: Impact of Perceived Agency Helpfulness

Antonio R. Garcia, Kirk O’Brien, Minseop Kim, Peter J. Pecora, Tracy Harachi, Eugene Aisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The etiology of poor mental health outcomes among foster care alumni of color remains largely unknown. We examined the influence of a subset of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), placement instability, and childhood disability in uniquely predicting mental health outcomes among racially diverse foster care alumni from a private foster care agency. Multiple group path modeling was used to examine direct and indirect relationships between the individual level risk factors, mediators (perceived agency helpfulness), and past-year psychiatric disorder. Results showed that while the overall model was moderated by race/ethnicity, no significant group differences occurred in which ACEs increased the likelihood of psychiatric diagnoses. However, there were racial/ethnic differences in whether perceived agency helpfulness mediated the relationship between a subset of ACEs and diagnosis with a psychiatric disorder. Implications for future research to inform the development and implementation of effective services and supports that can promote positive developmental outcomes among racially diverse alumni are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3293-3305
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood
  • Child welfare
  • Foster care alumni
  • Independent living
  • Mental health
  • Race disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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