Date of Conferral
Michael T. Plasay
Children placed in foster care face considerable stress and trauma related to being removed from their homes and subsequently living in a new environment. They may exhibit severe disruptive or antisocial behavior as a consequence. Clinicians and researchers often have not considered that these behaviors may be due to children's underdeveloped cognitive control and response. Treatment approaches that offer more holistic perspectives on stress and the inclusion of individual and specialized therapies may help foster children to better control their responses and return to their biological families sooner. The purpose of this study was to focus on whether individual therapy and the inclusion of rehabilitative strategies decreased severe disruptive/antisocial behavior in children placed in foster care or foster homes. Using archival data, disruptive behavior tallies were compared between foster children who began individual therapy and then the same children with the inclusion of rehabilitative strategies. A significant decrease in disruptive behavior was found with foster children within three months of individual therapy and then again, three months after the inclusion of rehabilitative strategies, regardless of gender. Gender was found to have no significance in participants' response to treatment. Findings demonstrate the value of using multiple treatments for decreasing disruptive behavior in foster children. Using multiple treatments, clinicians may be better able to help children positively transform their lives as they navigate the foster care system, resulting in potential positive social change.