Children 'aging out' of foster care able to cope with childhood emotional abuse with higher self-esteem

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Children in foster care are in a better position to cope with childhood emotional abuse if they have higher self-esteem, according to a new study by researchers at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

The study, published in the Children and Youth Services Review, analyzed surveys from a national sample of adolescents "aging out" of . The children were surveyed for symptoms of depression.

Findings show that physically neglected adolescents aging out of foster care are at high risk of having depressive symptoms. Those who are emotionally abused, however, had lower self-esteem, which leads to higher depressive symptoms.

"Adolescents in foster care are among the most ," said Miyoung Yoon, a doctoral candidate at the Mandel School. "And maltreatment is one of the main reasons that children are in foster care in the first place."

Yoon pointed out that there have been only a handful of studies linking foster care, different types of childhood maltreatment, self-esteem, and depression. More research is needed, she said.

"Adolescents aging out foster care who are emotionally abused need individualized efforts to promote self-esteem, such as counseling or therapy focusing on , in order to reduce symptoms of depression" she said.

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More information: Miyoung Yoon et al. Child maltreatment and depressive symptomatology among adolescents in out-of-home care: The mediating role of self-esteem, Children and Youth Services Review (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.04.015
Citation: Children 'aging out' of foster care able to cope with childhood emotional abuse with higher self-esteem (2019, September 17) retrieved 28 January 2021 from
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