Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.757833
Title: What are the risk, promotive and protective factors for the educational outcomes for children in foster and kinship care?
Author: O'Higgins, Aoife Anais
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 6424
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
Background: Children in care are at risk of low educational attainment (Trout, Hagaman, Casey, Reid, & Epstein, 2008). Interventions have been developed to address this problem but systematic reviews of the evidence find that their effectiveness is currently limited (R. Evans, Brown, Rees, & Smith, 2017). Research suggests that the processes underlying low achievement for this population, which are key to informing theories of change in interventions, are poorly understood (Liabo, Gray, & Mulcahy, 2012; Stone, 2007). This thesis speaks to this gap in the literature by investigating risk, promotive and protective factors for children in care. Methods The thesis includes two studies. In the first, a systematic review of risk, promotive and protective factors for the educational outcomes for children in care was conducted. It aimed to uncover variables that might be targeted in educational interventions. The second study analysed longitudinal secondary data on the educational outcomes of 690 teenagers in care in Ontario, Canada. It examined the relationship between carer involvement and the educational outcomes of young people they care for. Specifically, the study used descriptive statistics and two latent growth curve models to explore what carers do and whether carer involvement, specifically aspirations, is a promotive factor for educational outcomes for children in foster and kinship care. Moderation analysis was then carried out to determine whether carer's high aspirations are a protective factor for children in care with special educational needs. Results The review identified 33 studies for inclusion. Findings suggested that boys, those from minority backgrounds, children with special educational needs or behavioural problems were more likely to struggle academically than others. Length of time in care was not a risk factor. Finally, findings indicated that carer involvement in educational activities is associated with better school performance outcomes. In Study Two, analyses showed that carers are involved in the education of children, that high aspirations predict better school performance outcomes even after controlling for prior school performance and that carers' aspirations are a protective factor for children with special educational needs. Conclusion This thesis presents evidence that carers' involvement in children's education, in particular high aspirations, is a promotive factor for children in care and a protective factor for children in care with special educational needs. However, it also highlighted a significant gap in the literature suggesting that carer involvement is not well understood for children in care. These findings may inform future interventions to promote the education of children in care.
Supervisor: Sebba, Judith ; Gardner, Frances Sponsor: Rees Centre
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.757833  DOI: Not available
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