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Foster Youth Emancipation

Implications of Resiliency, Independence, and Responsibility

by Dr. Deborah Harris-Sims

eBook PDF

Pub date: 2008
Pages: 87
ISBN-10: 1599426838
ISBN-13: 9781599426839
Categories: PsychologyPsychologySocial Science


This study incorporated descriptive research methods and correlational research methods to explore possible relationships between independence-responsibility and resiliency. The researcher administered the Resiliency Scales for Adolescents (RSA) to foster care youth.

In addition, the Responsibility and Independence Scales for Adolescents (RISA) was administered to each foster youth's caseworker or agency appointed designee N0-40 responsible for managing the life of the youth. Results from the study indicated a null relationship between the cumulative constructs of resiliency and independence-responsibility.

However, in respect to sub-scales, the study found that for youth in foster care higher levels of emotional reactivity were associated with lower levels of responsibility. Further, in comparison to their non-foster care peers, youth in foster care scored significantly lower in their sense of relatedness, responsibility, and emotional reactivity. Results from this study will add to the existing body of literature concerning foster youth emancipation. In addition, this study provides a rationale to continue research that explores the impact of resiliency in relationship to adolescent development and victims of maltreatment.

About the Author

Deborah has dedicated her career to providing treatment to the adolescent population and their families. Over the last 15 years, her inspirational message and sense of understanding have empowered young adults to overcome their challenges to meet and achieve their goals.

She is nationally recognized as an expert in the field of child welfare and adolescent challenges. Sims was named to Who's Who American Women, Who's Who Emerging Leaders, and Who's Who Black Louisville. She remains active in the community as a Board Member for New Pathways, Associate Member of the American Psychological Association, National Military Family Association, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Dr. Sims received a B.S. from Northwestern State University. She was awarded a M.A. in Counseling from Webster University and a M.S. in Behavioral Psychology from Cameron University. She also holds a PhD in Psychology. She currently serves in academic administration and continues to advocate on the behalf of children.