Placement stability in the context of child development

Marissa O'Neill, Christina Risley-Curtiss, Cecilia Ayón, Lela Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Placement stability is important for children to find permanent families, and for social, emotional and educational development of children. This study used the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW, long term foster care general sample) data set to examine foster child and caregiver characteristics, and the caregiver-child relationship as a predictor of placement stability. Logistic regression was performed to predict the odds of achieving placement stability. Due to differences across development, the sample was divided into two groups: early childhood and middle childhood. As expected, in the early childhood group more caregiver than child characteristics affected placement stability. In the middle childhood group it was expected that more child than caregiver characteristics would predict placement stability, however, only child problem behaviors and caregiver experience and age affected placement stability. It was noteworthy that marital status, caregiver education, and income did not. Implications for social work research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1258
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Caregiver-child relationship
  • Foster care
  • Foster parents
  • Placement disruption
  • Placement stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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