The contents of this product were developed under a grant with funding from the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and from the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR grant 90RT5030). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Social work with youth, Foster children -- Education (Higher) -- United States, College attendance -- United States, Foster children -- United States -- Social conditions
For this study, researchers from Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University explored the perspectives of college students with foster care histories and self-identified mental health conditions. Researchers aimed to better understand how the relationship between students’ foster care identity and their newly forming student identities might impact academic success. We conducted interviews with students participating in the FUTURES intervention efficacy study, which evaluated the impact of a 9-month self-determination coaching program for students enrolled in their first two years of college at Portland State University, Portland Community College, or Mt. Hood Community College. Interview participants (N=18) were 72% female, 78% identified as non-white or mixed race, and 28% identified as LGBTQIA. The research team conducted thematic analysis of the interview transcripts by iteratively organizing inductive codes into broader themes and developing related findings. Four themes were developed related to the complexities of the foster student experience – including mental health challenges and other life stressors, and their impact on developing student identities in postsecondary education.
Miller, R., Blakeslee, J., & Ison, C. (2020). Exploring College Student Identity Among Young People With Foster Care Histories and Mental Health Challenges. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University.