Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

Document Type



In 2003, there were reports of child maltreatment affecting over 5.5 million children in the United States. As a result of this epidemic, over 500,000 children are in foster care with an estimated additional 300,000 in voluntary kin placements. Because of a shortage of foster families and resources, Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies routinely seek and give priority to family members to serve as foster families to maltreated children. There is a large body of research that demonstrates that children in kinship care are often at greater risk than those children placed in non-kin foster homes, particularly in terms of poverty, sub-standard housing, and receiving less support from CPS. Studies of foster care dyads have demonstrated that the degree to which a foster mother is emotionally invested in her foster child is an important predictor in the success of the placement. This study examined differences in emotional investment in foster children between kin and non-kin foster parents. Its primary hypothesis was that kin foster parents would express less emotional investment in their foster children compared to non-kin foster parents. Multiple regression analyses confirmed this expectation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Timothy Page



Included in

Social Work Commons