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Children and Youth Services Review: 'The impact of continued contact with biological parents upon the mental health of children in foster care'.

Reunification with biological parents is the goal for the majority of children in foster care. When children are placed in care, parental visitations are considered the primary intervention for maintaining the parent-child relationship. While this is generally beneficial, these visits can be emotionally distressing for the children. This study investigated depression and externalising problems of children in foster care using data representing 362 children from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Results reveal that more frequent contact with the biological mother was marginally associated with lower levels of depression and significantly associated with lower externalising problem behaviours. The association with externalising problem behaviour was significant even after controlling for gender and exposure to violence. Also, differences with regard to gender were shown, with girls having higher depression scores than boys, even after controlling for exposure to violence. The authors suggest that supporting frequent, consistent visitation may affect the levels of depression and externalising problems exhibited by children in foster care.

32:10, October 2010, pp 1338-45, USA

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Title Annotation:Fostering
Author:McWey, Lenore M.; Acock, Alan; Porter, Breanne E.
Publication:Adoption & Fostering
Article Type:Reprint
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 22, 2010
Previous Article:British Journal of Social Work: 'Help-seeking by foster carers for their "looked after" children: the role of mental health literacy and treatment...
Next Article:Children and Youth Services Review: 'A steady presence in the midst of change: non-kin natural mentors in the lives of older youth exiting foster...

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