Behavior problems in foster care, systematic review of associated factors

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Every year, a significant number of children are placed in family foster care. Although foster children are at risk of behavioral problems, it is not yet clear which factors contribute to this. The methodology of this review was based on the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). The electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, ProQuest, and Google Scholar were systematically searched. Reference lists from the articles retrieved were hand searched. Studies were included in this scoping review if they: (1) were published between January 2010 and August 2020, (2) were primary research including at least two quantitative variables (one of them being the behavioral problems of the foster child and/or the evolution of these behavioral problems), (3) included a sample of foster children who were under 18 years old, and (4) published in English or Dutch. This review provides an overview of the associated characteristics with internalizing, externalizing and total behavior problems and changes over time in these behavior problems. The results mainly point out the importance of foster family factors in the context of behavioral problems. The results point into the direction of a positive association between foster parental stress and (an increase in) behavioral problems in foster children and the association of parenting behavior and (changes in) behavioral problems. Monitoring parenting stress and the implementation of interventions aiming at optimalisation of parenting behavior can be used to help foster parents in raising foster children with behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107240
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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