Presentation on theme: "Impact of foster care on sexual activity of maltreated youth Monica Faulkner, PhD, LMSW Center for Social Work Research The University of Texas at Austin."— Presentation transcript:
Impact of foster care on sexual activity of maltreated youth Monica Faulkner, PhD, LMSW Center for Social Work Research The University of Texas at Austin
Problem 70% of female children in foster care will be pregnant by the age of 21 Nationally, 30% of females are pregnant by the age of 20 (Bilaver & Courtney, 2006)
Prior research Some international studies – High pregnancy rates in other countries – Barriers pregnant/parenting teens face Non-peer reviewed reports – Large numbers of teen parents in care Empirical studies – Primarily non-nationally representative samples – Define & confirm high pregnancy rates – Document problems pregnant/ parenting teens encounter in care
Gaps in literature How do risk and protective factors impact sexual activity and pregnancy over time for maltreated females? In addition to foster care, how do changes in caregivers impact sexual health behaviors? What are the factors that help determine whether a girl will remain abstinent?
Research questions Overall research question: How does foster care impact sexual activity and pregnancy for maltreated youth? Overall research question: How does foster care impact sexual activity and pregnancy for maltreated youth? 1 Are there differences in sexual activity and pregnancy based on placement in foster care? 2 Do foster care, caregiver changes and risk and protective factors predict sexual activity?
Data National Study of Child and Adolescent Wellbeing (NSCAW) CPS sample Waves 1, 3 & 4
Variables Dependent variable – Sexual activity: abstinent, sexually active, pregnant Primary independent variables – Foster care placement – Caregiver changes Additional independent variables – Problems in family of origin – Child maltreatment – Race – Risk factors
Sample CPS sample of NSCAW N=5,501Exclude 2,732 males (n=2769) Exclude 2,086 females who were under age 11 at wave 1 (n=683) Exclude 187 females who were not living with permanent caregiver at wave 1 (n=496)
Analyses Are there differences in sexual activity and pregnancy based on placement in foster care? Descriptive statistics, t- tests, chi-square Do foster care, caregiver changes and risk and protective factors predict sexual activity? Multinomial regression
Results: Chi square Foster care (n=123; 20.27%) Not in foster care (n=373; 79.73%) χ2χ2 Sexual Activity Abstinent56.24%48.06%1.12 Sexually Active27.58%32.89% Pregnant16.18%19.06% Race Black26.07%24.01%0.06 White47.59%45.73%0.05 Hispanic24.26%20.96%0.14 Other * 2.80%7.07%5.28 Type of abuse Sexual23.77%17.60%0.35 Physical37.08%35.32%0.04 Emotional13.07%11.93% Failure to protect16.62%16.16%>0.01 Neglect24.17%36.86%1.91 Abandonment0.53%0.22%0.94 *** p<0.001; ** p<0.01; * p<0.05; + p<0.10
Results: Likelihood ratio tests Significant results from likelihood ratio tests χ2χ2 dfSig Family of Origin Problems9.48520.009 Race (White) Black14.19620.001 Type of abuse (Neglect) Failure to protect10.15020.006 Sexual9.96620.007 Risk Factors Substance use14.41320.001 Delinquency10.41020.006 Cognition11.46720.003
Results: multinomial regression Abstinent (0) vs. sexually active (1) BSEWalddfSigExp(B)Lower Bound Upper Bound Family of Origin Problems 0.190.086.5610.011.180.710.96 Race (White) Black1.380.488.4410.013.971.5710.07 Type of abuse Sexual1.650.529.9610.015.191.8714.43 Risk Factors Substance use0.350.0914.1210.001.300.590.85
Results: multinomial regression Sexually active (1) vs. pregnant (2) BSEWalddfSigExp(B)Lower Bound Upper Bound Family of Origin Problems0.220.015.1410.021.200.670.97 Race (White) Black2.010.5712.4710.007.462.4522.73 Type of abuse Failure to protect2.830.909.9310.0116.982.9298.89 Risk Factors Delinquency0.160.067.8710.011.171.051.31 Cognition-0.070.0211.3210.000.940.900.97
Results Summary- Question 1 Question Are there differences in sexual activity and pregnancy based on placement in foster care? Findings No differences in sexual activity, pregnancy or risk and protective factors
Results-Question 2 Question Do foster care, caregiver changes and risk and protective factors predict sexual activity? Findings Foster care & caregiver changes do not predict sexual activity. Significant predictors Sexual activity Pregnancy Family of origin problems XX Race- BlackXX Substance useX CognitionX DelinquencyX Failure to protectX Sexual abuseX
Conclusion Foster care alone does not predict pregnancy or sexual activity. Rates of pregnancy/sexual activity are high for youth who come into contact with the child welfare system.
Strengths & Limitations Strengths Nationally representative data set Examines different levels of sexual activity Limitations Problems inherent to secondary data analysis Issue with weights
Implications National advocacy efforts should refine focus to include all youth who receive child welfare services More research needed to examine discrepancy between high contraceptive use & high pregnancy rates