Adolescents in out-of-home care (OHC) have consistently been shown to have poorer educational outcomes than their peers. The ecological transition associated with school changes has been theorized to impact the learning outcomes of children and adolescents negatively, and it has been suggested that OHC adolescents are particularly vulnerable in this regard. This study examines whether school change in lower secondary school (Grades 7 through 9) is associated with self-perceived academic abilities at age 15 and staying-on rates in upper secondary school at age 18 for adolescents in OHC and their never-placed peers, respectively. Using administrative data combined with two rounds of the Danish Longitudinal Study of Children born 1995 (measurements at age 11 and age 15), our sample consisted of 107 adolescents ever placed in OHC and 3,805 of their never placed peers. We found that school change was negatively related to educational outcomes for both groups and that this relationship was stronger for adolescents in OHC. This result persisted after including a measure of prior self-perceived academic abilities, self-reported experiences of being bullied, and several control variables. The results suggest that those working with adolescents in OHC should be alert to the vulnerability of school change in lower secondary school on this group.
- Rikke Fuglsang OlsenChristopher J. Montgomery
About this publication
Published inChildren and Youth Services Review