Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Foster children-Massachusetts-Holyoke-Psychology, Foster home care-Psychological aspects, Self perception in adolescence, Massachusetts. Dept. of Children and Families, Self-image, Adolescent, Foster care, Residential placement


This study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of data collection from adolescents in foster care. Additionally, how do adolescent foster youth who have had multiple placements perceive their self-image and is it comparable to the self-image of an adolescent population not in foster care? Adolescent foster youth who have had multiple placements are at higher risk for negative personal, familial, environmental, communal, and societal relations. Areas of self-image identified as positive should be supported and areas identified as reflecting a lower self-image should be addressed both clinically and pragmatically. Adolescent foster youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families in Holyoke, Massachusetts between the ages of 13 and 19 were given the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire for Adolescents, Revised. The youth sampled did not have statistically significant differences in self-image from that of the normal reference population. However, findings of interest provide valuable insight into the adolescent foster youth sample's self-image in various life domains. Since out-of-home placement continues to affect youth nationally, there is an ongoing and pressing need for additional research to assist this population in successful, stable, supportive and nurturing transitions to out-of-home care. Additional understanding of the effects of early childhood trauma, self-image, and out-of-home placement are needed to shape positive adolescent development in this context and to provide empirical evidence to support and enhance public policy and additional resources to our nations children.




iv, 75 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-50)