Date of Graduation

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Department

Human Development, Family Sciences and Rural Sociology

Advisor/Mentor

Williams, Amanda

Committee Member/Reader

Becnel, Jennifer

Committee Member/Second Reader

Merten, Michael

Abstract

Children in foster care are highly likely to have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, along with a host of other negative or harmful experiences. These experiences can leave them vulnerable when faced with difficult situations in the future. This research examines the various factors that may affect a foster child’s ability to be resilient in future adverse situations. There are several studies that examine the resiliency of children in foster care, but few examine resiliency from the perspective of the child’s foster parents. Three hundred and sixteen prospective, current, and future foster parents in the state of Oklahoma were given a survey that included questions regarding their experiences as a foster parent. Based on Masten’s resilience theory, the relationship between risk factors and protective factors was examined in order to see the different components that influence a foster child’s potential to be resilient. Thematic analysis was used to determine common themes regarding risk and protective factors among foster children and foster parents, as well as experiences with support agency workers, and ways that foster parents think that the foster care system could be improved in order to help the child be more resilient.

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