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Prev Sci. 2011 Sep;12(3):269-77. doi: 10.1007/s11121-011-0211-z.

Preventing internalizing and externalizing problems in girls in foster care as they enter middle school: impact of an intervention.

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  • 1Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401-4928, USA.


Girls in foster care have been shown to be at risk for emotional and behavioral problems, especially during the preadolescent and adolescent years. Based on these findings and on the lack of research-based preventive interventions for such youths, the current study examined the impact of an intervention targeting the prevention of internalizing and externalizing problems for girls in foster care prior to middle school entry. Study participants included 100 girls in state-supported foster homes who were randomly assigned to an intervention condition or to a control condition (foster care services as usual). The intervention girls were hypothesized to have fewer internalizing problems, fewer externalizing problems, and more prosocial behavior at 6-months post-baseline compared to the control girls. The results confirmed the hypotheses for internalizing and externalizing problems, but not for prosocial behavior. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

© Society for Prevention Research 2011

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