Date of Award

Summer 8-5-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Child and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Amanda Williams

Committee Chair Department

Child and Family Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Claire Kimberly

Committee Member 2 Department

Child and Family Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Pamela Rollins

Committee Member 3 Department

Child and Family Studies

Abstract

Youth with experience in the foster system are often more susceptible to negative outcomes in adulthood due to their high levels of cumulative risk. The present study sought out to re-define the concept of “success” from the perspective of emerging adults with experience in the foster care system and to identify patterns among the characteristics and behaviors of foster families that promote success as these young adults transition out of the foster care system and into adulthood. Participants most frequently defined “success” as achieving personal goals. Additionally, Support and Positive Identity were found to be the most influential Developmental Assets® promoted by family characteristics and behaviors. A greater awareness of the family factors emerging adults perceived to contribute to their success can be used to advise agencies, advocates, and parents, permitting them to be more intentional in promoting success and maximizing opportunities for successful development in foster youth.

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