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A Longitudinal Study of a Mentoring and Skills Group Intervention for Maltreated Youth

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the study is to explore and test whether the intervention prevents and/or reduces delinquency and juvenile justice involvement. Specifically, the study is using a longitudinal sample of foster care youth to:

  • Examine whether the Fostering Healthy Futures intervention is associated with less delinquency and involvement in the juvenile justice system.
  • Examine whether the intervention buffers youth from the negative effects of childhood adversity.
  • Examine whether changes in psychosocial functioning (mental health, social functioning, and emotion regulation) operate as mediators of this intervention effect.
  • Explore whether there are gender and/or racial/ethnic differences in program efficacy and mediating mechanisms.

To do this, the study will:

  • Build upon longitudinal data collected across four time points from 426 maltreated children in foster care, ages 9 to 11 at baseline, who were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of the Fostering Healthy Futures intervention. Data collected from interviews with youth, caregivers, and teachers will measure adverse childhood experiences, delinquency, mental health, social functioning, and emotional regulation. The researchers will use administrative records to measure juvenile justice involvement.
  • Conduct confirmatory factor analyses to examine the optimal factor structure associated with the mental health, social functioning, and emotion regulation variables.
  • Use structural equation modeling techniques to examine the research questions noted above.
  • Compile and disseminate project findings.

Next: Milestones

Date Created: March 26, 2020