Dr. Megan Smith
Adolescents in foster care are a vulnerable population and face instability. Young people in foster care can be at high risk of academic failure, special education placement, and increased dropout rates, among other poor health outcomes. Identifying and understanding the potential relationships between adolescents in foster care and a range of health outcomes, including academic achievement, can be an important step in creating interventions to help foster kids thrive. This study examines these relationships. Data came from a survey of middle and high school students (N = 13,851) attending public school in mid-Atlantic state. An independent sample T-Test analyzed whether or not there was a significant difference in GPA between adolescents living or not living in foster care. Several other health outcomes were analyzed and will be presented in the poster session. GPAs of adolescents living in foster care (M= 4.128, SD=.974) were not significantly different compared to adolescents not living foster care (M=4.186, SD=.915). Implications for public health policy and practice will be discussed.
Firkins, Alex and Smith, Megan L., "Foster Care and Academic Achievement: The Effects of Foster Care on Adolescents and Their Academic Achievement" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 54.