Advertisement

Factors Influencing the Subjective Well-Being of Adolescents in out-of-Home Care. A Mixed Method Study

  • Joan Llosada-GistauEmail author
  • Ferran Casas
  • Carme Montserrat
Article
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Children’s subjectisuppleve well-being (SWB) constitutes an important component in the understanding of their quality of life and refers to the opinions and evaluations made by children themselves about the main aspects of their lives, and their satisfaction with these life aspects. This research focused on children whose SWB has been little investigated. In Spain, 38% of children in out-of-home placements are in residential care, 46% in kinship care and 16% in non-kin foster care. The aim of this study was to analyse SWB among adolescents in care, considering the type of placement in greater depth and how it correlated with several explanatory variables. We adapted the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being questionnaire for adolescents in care aged 12–14 years old, including 3 psychometric scales on SWB: Overall Live Satisfaction, the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale, and the Personal Well-being Index—School Children. The response rate was 58% (N = 700). Multiple regressions were used, an open question was also included and categorical content analysis was done. Results indicated that adolescents in foster care (kinship and non-kinship) reported better SWB in all life domains than those in residential care. Variables, such as the number of placements, the amount of time spent in the last placement, a previous failed foster placement and satisfaction with caregivers had an impact on adolescents’ SWB. Links between these results and those obtained in the qualitative analysis were particularly notable as regards relationships with the people who lived with them, placement instability, and lower life satisfaction among adolescents in residential care.

Keywords

Adolescents Out-of-home care Subjective well-being Residential care Foster care Kinship care 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our thanks to the children who have participated in the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Confidentiality and anonymity of the data were ensured according to Spanish Act 15/1999 on data confidentiality. Individual data was encoded to ensure anonymity. This study was approved by the department of the Catalonian Government responsible for the Child Protection System (DGAIA). The informants participated voluntarily and without receiving incentives.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

References

  1. Bardin, L. (2002). El análisis de contenido. Madrid: Ediciones Akal.Google Scholar
  2. Biehal, N., Sinclair, I., & Wade, J. (2015). Reunifying abused or neglected children: Decision-making and outcomes. Child Abuse and Neglect, 49, 107–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bravo, A., & Del Valle, J. F. (2003). Las redes de apoyo social de los adolescentes acogidos en residencias de protección. Un estudio comparativo con población normativa. Psicothema, 15, 136–142.Google Scholar
  4. Burgess, C., Rossvoll, F., Wallace, B., & Daniel, B. (2010). It’s just like another home, just another family, so it’s nae different’ Children’s voices in kinship care: A research study about the experience of children in kinship care in Scotland. Child & Family Social Work, 15(3), 297–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. New Year: Russel Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  6. Casas, F. (1997). Children's rights and children's quality of life: Conceptual and practical issues. Social Indicators Research, 42, 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casas, F. (2016). Analysing the comparability of 3 multi-item subjective well-being psychometric scales among 15 countries using samples of 10 and 12-year-olds. Child Indicators Research, 10, 297–330.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-015-9360-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Casas, F., & Bello, A. (2012). Calidad de vida y bienestar infantil subjetivo en España. Madrid: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  9. Casas, F., Fernández-Artamendi, S., Montserrat, C., Bravo, A., Bertrán, I., & del Valle, J. F. (2013). El bienestar subjetivo en la adolescencia: Estudio comparativo de dos Comunidades Autónomas en España. Anales de Psicología, 29(1), 148–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davern, M. (2016). The subjective wellbeing evaluation toolkit: A resource to support the use of subjective wellbeing to measure the impact of community programs and public policy initiatives. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  11. Del Valle, J. F., López, M., Montserrat, C., & Bravo, A. (2009). Twenty years of foster care in Spain. Profiles, patterns and outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(8), 847–853.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DGAIA. (2016). Informe estadístic mensual. Barcelona: Direcció General d’Atenció a la Infància i l’Adolescència. Generalitat de Catalunya.Google Scholar
  13. Diener, E. (2012). New findings and future directions for subjective well-being research. American Psychologist, 67(8), 590–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dinisman, T., Montserrat, C., & Casas, F. (2012). The subjective well-being of Spanish adolescents: Variations according to different living arrangements. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(12), 2374–2380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Farmer, E., & Moyers, S. (2008). Kinship care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. González-García, C., Bravo, A., Arruabarrena, I., Martín, E., Santos, I., & Del Valle, J. F. (2017). Emotional and behavioral problems of children in residential care: Screening detection and referrals to mental health services. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 100–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. J., & Graham, W. F. (1989). Toward a conceptual framework for mixed method evaluation designs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11(3), 255–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hayes, A. F., & Cai, L. (2007). Using heteroskedasticity-consistent standard error estimators in OLS regression: An introduction and software implementation. Behavior Research Methods, 39(4), 709–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Llosada-Gistau, J., Montserrat, C., & Casas, F. (2015). The subjective well-being of adolescents in residential care compared to that of the general population. Children and Youth Services Review, 52, 150–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Llosada-Gistau, J., Casas, F., & Montserrat, C. (2017). What matters in for the subjective well-being of children in care? Child Indicators Research, 10(3), 735–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. López, M., & del Valle, J. F. (2015). The waiting children: Pathways (and future) of children in long-term residential care. British Journal of Social Work, 45(2), 457–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Martín, E. (2015). Niños, niñas y adolescentes en acogimiento residencialun análisis en función del género. Qurriculum: Revista de Teoría, Investigación y Práctica Educativa, 28, 88–102.Google Scholar
  23. Melendro, M., Montserrat, C., Iglesias, A., & Cruz, L. (2016). Effective social education of exclusion: Contributions from social pedagogy. European Journal of Social Work, 19(6), 931–945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Montserrat, C., & Casas, F. (2007). Kinship foster care from the perspective of quality of life: Research on the satisfaction of the stakeholders. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 227–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Montserrat, C., Dinisman, T., Baltatescu, S., Grigoras, B. A., & Casas, F. (2015). The effect of critical changes and gender on adolescents’ subjective well-being: Comparisons across 8 countries. Child Indicators Research, 8(1), 111–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. MSSSI (2015). Boletín de datos estadísticos de medidas de protección a la infancia. Madrid: Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, 18. Retrieved from: http://www.mscbs.gob.es/ssi/familiasInfancia/Infancia/pdf/Boletinproteccion18provisionalcorrecto.pdf
  27. Rees, G. (2011). Still running 3: Early findings from our third national survey of young runaways. London: The Children's Society.Google Scholar
  28. Rees, G., & Main, G. (2015). Children’s views on their lives and well-being in 15 countries: A report on the Children’s worlds survey, 2013-14. Children’s worlds project (ISCWeB). Retrieved from http://www.isciweb.org/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/ChildrensWorlds2015-FullReport-Final.pdf
  29. Rees, G., Goswami, H., Pople, L., Bradshaw, J., Keung, A., & Main, G. (2012). The good childhood report. England: The Children's Society and University of York.Google Scholar
  30. Richardson, B., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Tomyn, A., & Cummins, R. (2016). The psychometric equivalence of the personal wellbeing index for normally functioning and homeostatically defeated Australian adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(2), 627–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schütz, F., Sarriera, J., Bedin, L., & Montserrat, C. (2015). Subjective well-being of children in residential care: Comparison between children in institutional care and children living with their families. Psicoperspectivas, 14(1), 19–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schwartz, C., Waddell, C., Barican, J., Gray-Grant, D., Dickson, S., & Nightingale, L. (2014). Kinship foster care. Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, 8(3), 1–16. Vancouver: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
  33. Selwyn, J., Wood, M. J. E., & Newman, T. J. (2016). Looked after children and young people in England: Developing measures of subjective well-being. Child Indicators Research, 10(2), 363–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Taussig, H. N., & Clyman, R. B. (2012). The relationship between time spent living with kin and adolescent functioning in youth with a history of out-of-home placement. Child Abuse Neglect, 35(1), 78–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tomyn, A. J. (2013). Youth connections subjective well-being report. Part a: Report 4.0. Australia: RMIT University.Google Scholar
  36. UNICEF. (2016). Fairness for Children: A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries, Innocenti Report Card (Vol. 13). Florence: UNICEF, Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
  37. Unrau, Y. (2010). Defining a Foster Care Placement Move: The Perspective of Adults Who Formerly Lived in Multiple Out-of-Home Placements. WMU: Social Work Faculty Publications. Paper 6.Google Scholar
  38. Wade, J., Biehal, N., Farrelly, N., & Sinclair, I. (2011). Caring for abused and neglected children. Making the right decisions for reunification or long-term care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  39. Whittaker, J. K., Holmes, L., Del Valle, J. F., Ainsworth, F., Andreassen, T., Anglin, J., & Zeira, A. (2016). Therapeutic residential Care for Children and Youth: A consensus statement of the international work group on therapeutic residential care. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 33(2), 89–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Llosada-Gistau
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ferran Casas
    • 1
  • Carme Montserrat
    • 1
  1. 1.ERIDIQV. Institut de Recerca i Qualitat de Vida (IRQV)Universitat de GironaGironaSpain
  2. 2.Direcció General d’Atenció a la Infància i l’Adolescència (DGAIA), Departament de Benestar Social i FamíliaGeneralitat de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations