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Leslie Barnes-Young


There is a demonstrated association between children's negative behaviors, placement disruption, and foster parents' attachment style in early childhood; however, there is an absence of research examining this relation among foster children in middle childhood. Researchers have found that in early childhood, children respond more favorably to foster parents with a secure attachment style, while greater placement disruption is associated with foster parents having an insecure attachment style. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between foster children's negative behaviors, placement disruption in foster children during middle childhood, and foster parents' attachment style. Bowlby's and Ainsworth's attachment theory was the theoretical framework of this quantitative study. Thirty-six foster parent-child dyads from 2 foster care organizations in Texas formed the convenience sample. Participants completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children, the Parent Rating Scale (predictor variable), the Revised Adult Attachment Scale (moderator variable), and a postbaseline telephone call (criterion variable). The results of a binary logistic regression analysis indicated that children's negative behavior was not significantly related to placement disruption. A moderated regression analysis was not conducted to test if foster parents' attachment style had a moderating effect between children's negative behavior and placement disruption due to the low number of respondents in the insecure style. These findings provide insight into the influence of foster parents' attachment style to children's behaviors. Social change implications could promote attachment theory in the development of training programs for foster parents which may help increase placement stability.

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