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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Foster Youth in Higher Education: Mental Health and Academic Achievement During the First College Year


Author(s): Hogan, S. R.

Citation: Hogan, S. R. (2018). Foster Youth in Higher Education: Mental Health and Academic Achievement During the First College Year. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 30(2), 65-78.

 

Abstract

Former and current foster youth transitioning to adulthood through a four-year university campus require special consideration. Identifying barriers to academic success is critical to the overall success of this unique student population. This study examined the relationship between mental health and academic achievement during the first year at a four-year university for 114 foster youth students. Using mental health measures from the Medical Outcomes Study (Hays, Sherbourne, & Mazel, 1994) and self-reported measures of academic performance, researchers collected data just prior to the start of students’ postsecondary educational journey and at the end of the first academic year. Results indicated minimal declines in the mental health of foster youth students during their first year. However, foster youth students with greater mental health problems demonstrated significantly poorer academic performance during their first year at a four-year university. The findings from this study have implications for child welfare advocates and student support services providers.

 

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