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Adverse Childhood Experiences and Psychosocial Well-Being of Women Who Were in Foster Care as Children [the Permanente Journal]

Research has shown that many children in foster care later have psychosocial problems as adults; this is often attributed to cumulative adversities and a lack of supportive caregivers. The risk factors associated with foster care, such as maternal separation and multiple placements, often counteract many protective factors that can ameliorate the effects of childhood adversities. This study assessed the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and psychosocial well-being in women who were in foster care as children.

One of the principal social determinants of health is the ability to form an attachment to a primary caregiver and maintain relationships with others.1,2 Consequently, one of the most traumatic experiences that can occur, especially for children, is the loss of a parent. Attachment disorders and other mental health problems are associated with childhood adversities such as maltreatment, early parental loss, family disruptions, foster care placement, maltreatment while in foster care, and cumulative childhood adversities that are not ameliorated. The largest group of children entering the foster care system and the most developmentally vulnerable are infants and young children. The risk of psychopathology for many children entering foster care is often compounded with a subsequent cascade of adversities associated with this social setting...

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