‘People like me don’t have much of a chance in life’: comparing the locus of control of young people in foster care with that of adoptees, children from disadvantaged backgrounds and children in the general population

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Abstract

There is a paucity of research on the locus of control of children and young people growing up in foster care in England. Based on secondary analyses of data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), this article explores the locus of control of fostered young people during adolescence compared to those in adoptive care, those growing up in disadvantaged circumstances and young people in the general population. As the questions asked of the young people in the LSYPE did not form part of a standardised locus of control scale, the dimensionality of the items was first verified through a principal components analysis (PCA). The fostered young people scored significantly higher on external locus of control items compared to those in adopted and general population groups and were similar to young people in the disadvantaged group. Reasons for the high external scores in the fostered group and implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
Number of pages15
JournalAdoption and Fostering
Volume41
Issue number1
Early online date16 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Locus of control
  • foster care
  • adoption

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