The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and relationship between mental health diagnoses, type of maltreatment, and physical health diagnoses among children who entered into the foster care system during the year 2004. Using an ex post facto, descriptive research design, de-identified health information derived from Comprehensive Child and Family Assessments was reviewed in order to determine the relationship between mental health diagnoses, physical health diagnoses, and type of maltreatment reported upon initial placement into the foster care system. The findings yielded that the majority of the children entering into the foster care system received mental health adjustment disorder diagnoses. This diagnosis type was identified and recorded for more than 55% of the children during the study period. This researcher was unable to link these findings to placement in foster care, or type of maltreatment reported, nor was this researcher able to infer a cause-effect relationship existed. Further, the rate of detected medical diagnoses was relatively low, and the majority of all reported medical findings were categorized as "Other," (e.g., poor vision, malnutrition, ear infections, obesity, and tooth decay) making up over 21% of all reviewed medical disorders, while over half of the records reviewed during this study indicated that no medical diagnosis was determined or found. Lastly, in comparing mental health and medical diagnoses, there was no relationship present, thereby suggesting that there is no relationship between these two variables for children entering into foster care during the study period. Given the large number of children entering into the foster care system on a grand scale, additional research is needed to understand the mental and physical implications of maltreatment and to provide interventions to improve the quality of life for these children and their families pre- and post-placement.
|Department:||School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Children, Foster care, Health, Maltreatment, Mental health, Physical health|
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