Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 323–330 | Cite as

Foster Care Alumni Achievement in Higher Education: the Role of Trauma

  • Joshua D. BishopEmail author
  • Kristen Prock
  • Jisuk Seon
  • Amanda T. Woodward
  • Anne K. Hughes
  • Sister Miriam MacLean


Foster care alumni lag behind the general population in post-secondary academic achievement. This cross-sectional study uses a random sample of forty-six foster care alumni from a Midwestern public university to explore the relationship between exposure to trauma and post-secondary academic achievement (14.5% response rate; age range 17–24). While no significant relationship was found between trauma exposure and GPA or failing classes, participants who experienced increased exposure to trauma were more likely to have withdrawn from a class because it was too difficult or the semester was too overwhelming. More research is needed to further understand these findings.


Foster care Academic achievement Postsecondary education Trauma 



This research was supported by the Michigan State University School of Social Work. The School assisted in data collection, but did not have a role in study design or analysis and interpretation of data.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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