Early Elementary School Adjustment of Maltreated Children in Foster Care: The Roles of Inhibitory Control and Caregiver Involvement

Authors


concerning this article should be addressed to Katherine C. Pears, Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401. Electronic mail may be sent to katherinep@oslc.org.

Abstract

In this study, 85 maltreated foster children and 56 nonmaltreated community children (M age = 3–6 years) were assessed across kindergarten and first grade to examine the hypothesis that inhibitory control and caregiver involvement mediate associations between a history of maltreatment and foster placement and early school adjustment. Specifically, academic and social-emotional competence were evaluated. The maltreated foster children performed more poorly in academic and social-emotional competence. Inhibitory control fully mediated the association of maltreatment and foster placement with academic competence, whereas inhibitory control and caregiver involvement mediated their association with social-emotional competence. The results suggest that inhibitory control and caregiver involvement might be promising targets for school readiness interventions for foster preschoolers.

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