Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Li, Yawen


Former foster youth are in the unique position of taking on the transition from adolescence to adulthood, while also carrying the weight of growing up in non-traditional homes, likely away from their biological families. While the causes of a child being placed in foster care vary, inadequate parental care is a factor that exists within each case. Because of this, former foster youth are at heightened risk to experience several traumas associated with being placed in foster care such as teen pregnancy, dating violence, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and neglect. An area that is often overlooked when discussing the impact that foster care has on former foster youth is the effect that it has on their intimate relationships. Because foster youth typically suffer from inadequate care and problems with attachment, it is very likely that these experiences from childhood would affect their adult relationships. This raises concern because learned behaviors that are not addressed at an adequate age can quickly become generation long cycles of abuse, low self-worth, and low relationship satisfaction. It is imperative to understand the relationship of previous foster care placement and relationship satisfaction so proper intervention and prevention can be offered.

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Social Work Commons