Educational outcomes for homeless young adults with and without a history in foster care

Kalah M. Villagrana, Elizabeth H. Mody, Siobhan M. Lawler, Qi Wu, Kristin M. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Homeless young adults (HYA) with and without a history in foster care in the United States experience lower high school graduation rates than young adults in the general population. Few studies examine the risk and resilience factors that promote positive educational outcomes for these subpopulations. This study explores the factors that are associated with positive educational outcomes for HYA with and without a foster care history. This study uses data from a 3-city cross-sectional study of HYA, which included quantitative interviews of HYA between the ages of 18 and 24 (N = 601) in Austin, TX (n = 200), Los Angeles, CA (n = 200), and Denver, CO (n = 201). Positive educational outcomes consisted of HYAs being currently enrolled in or previously attaining a degree from a secondary, postsecondary or technical education program. This study uses two logistic regression models to identify the risk and resilience factors associated with positive educational outcomes for HYA with and without a history in foster care. For HYA with a history in foster care, city was a significant predictor of positive educational outcomes as well as being an older age, formal employment, not having an arrest record, having a lower score of emotional neglect, and having a higher score of physical abuse. For HYA without a history in foster care, significant predictors included not having an arrest record and having a higher score of emotional abuse. Findings highlight the need for an expansion of federal and state postsecondary education financial aid programs for HYA with and without a history in foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105153
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Educational outcomes
  • Federal financial aid
  • Foster youth
  • Homeless young adults
  • State financial aid
  • State tuition waiver program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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