Abstract: Resilience within Indigenous Transition Age Foster Youth (Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference - Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice)

191P Resilience within Indigenous Transition Age Foster Youth

Friday, January 12, 2018
Marquis BR Salon 6 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
Sumer Al-Ahdali, Undergraduate Researcher, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Nancy Jo Kepple, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Background/Purpose: Researchers have studied resilience in children who have suffered trauma and the protective factors that cultivate positive outcomes for this high-risk population. However, we know little about the specific experiences of indigenous youth given they are often grouped with other racial/ethnic minority populations as “youth of color” or “other.”

Methods: The study used the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD 2011 Cohort) to examine resilience within 321 Indigenous transition-age youth, whose race were coded as American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and who were in foster care at the age of 17. Youth reported at age 19 (Wave 2 of data collection): 68% were currently employed/enrolled in school; 75% had stable housing; 93% reported a supportive connection to an adult; and 71% reported prosocial functioning (i.e., no experience of incarceration or substance abuse referral in the past 2 years).

Results: Findings from a multivariate logistic regression indicated females were more likely to be currently employed or enrolled in school, controlling for high school completion, receipt of SSI, prosocial functioning, and currently being in foster care. Also, remaining in foster care at age 19 was associated with a higher probability of being currently employed and/or enrolled in school.

Conclusion: These findings help us to begin to understand the unique experience of Indigenous youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system. Future research would benefit from in-depth investigation of gender differences in resilience and how cultural identity/ties may influence positive outcomes.