Launching into Adulthood from Institutional Care with a Serious Mental Health Condition
- 520 Downloads
This qualitative study explores the experiences of emerging adults with serious mental health conditions (e.g., bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder) before and after they emancipate from the child welfare system and exit a transitional living program. Sixteen participants were interviewed before and 13 were interviewed after aging out. Findings suggest that transitional living programs services were appreciated for the relationships and safety net they fostered. Future plans were positive, but vague, and worries about the future were prevalent. Struggles with independence post-emancipation were common despite adult service use. Additional research is needed to understand how to best support these at-risk emerging adults.
KeywordsEmerging adulthood Transition age youth Serious mental illness Residential care Qualitative research
Conflict of interest
- Arnett, J. J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the late twenties. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bullis, M., & Cheney, D. (1999). Vocational and transition interventions for adolescents and young adults with emotional or behavioral disorders. Focus on Exceptional Children, 31(7), 1–24.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Clark, H. B., Karpur, A., Deschênes, N., Gamache, P., & Haber, M. (2008). Partnerships for youth transition (PYT): Overview of community initiatives and preliminary findings on transition to adulthood for youth and young adults with mental health challenges. In C. Newman, C. Liberton, K. Kutash, & R. M. Friedman (Eds.), The 20th annual research conference proceedings: A system of care for children’s mental health: Expanding the research base (pp. 329–332). Tampa, FL: University of South Florida. The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health.Google Scholar
- Clark, H. B., & Unruh, D. K. (2009). Transition of youth and young adults with emotional or behavioral difficulties: An evidence-supported handbook (pp. 141–161). Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.Google Scholar
- Courtney, M. E., Dworsky, A., Lee, J. S., & Rapp, M. (2010). Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth: Outcomes at ages 23 and 24. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.Google Scholar
- Davis, M., Green, M., & Hoffman, C. (2009). The service system obstacle course for transition-age youth and young adults and their families. In H. B. Clark & D. K. Unrich (Eds.), Transition of youth and young adults with emotional of behavioral difficulties (pp. 3–24). Baltimore, Maryland: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.Google Scholar
- Davis, M., & Hunt, B. (2005). State adult mental health systems’ efforts to address the needs of young adults in transition to adulthood. Rockville, MD: US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.Google Scholar
- Fagan, M. A., Munchel, W., Rogers, I., & Clark, H. B. (2009). Serving young adults with serious mental health challenges from dependency programs and community settings. In H. B. Clark & D. K. Unrich (Eds.), Transition of youth and young adults with emotional of behavioral difficulties (pp. 163–188). Baltimore, Maryland: Paul H. Brooks Publishing. Google Scholar
- Gerzon, R. (1998). Finding serenity in the age of anxiety. New York: Batnam Books.Google Scholar
- Havlachak, A., White, C. R., & O’Brien, K. (2008). Examining outcomes of young adults served by Casey Family Programs between 2004 and 2006. Casey Family Programs young Adult Survey: Findings over three years. Retrieved from http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/CaseyYoungAdultSurveyThreeYears.htm.
- McCoy-Roth, M., Freundlich, M., Ross, T. (2010). Number of youth aging out of foster care continues to rise; Increasing 64 percent since 1999. Retrieved from http://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/Connections_Agingout.pdf.
- McMillen, J. C., Zima, B. T., Scott, L. D., Auslander, W. F., Munson, M. R., Ollie, M. R., et al. (2005). The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among older youths in the foster care system. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(1), 88–95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mech, E. V. (2003). Uncertain futures: Foster youth transition to adulthood. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.Google Scholar
- Narendorf, S. C., Fedoravicius, N., McMillen, J. C., McNelly, D., & Robinson, D. R. (2012). Stepping down and stepping in: Youth’s perspectives on making the transition from residential treatment to treatment foster care. Children & Youth Services Review, 34(1), 43–49.Google Scholar
- Osgood, D. W., Foster, E. M., Flanagan, C., & Ruth, G. R. (2005). Why focus on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations? In D. W. Osgood, E. M. Foster, C. Flanagan, & G. R. Ruth (Eds.), On your own without a net: The transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations (pp. 1–26). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rumbaut, R. G., Komaie, G., & Morgan, C. V. (2007). Young adults in five sites of the United States: New York, San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, and Iowa. Prepared for the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. Retrieved from http://transitions.s410.sureserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Young-Adult-Profile-5-Site-Comparison-May-2007-2.pdf.
- Samuels, G. M. (2008). A Reason, a season, or a lifetime: Relational permanence among young adults with foster care backgrounds. Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.Google Scholar