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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.W.

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Megan Hayes Piel

Second Advisor

Angelique Day

Abstract

Nearly half of children in the child welfare system have clinically significant emotional or behavioral issues (Bums et al., 2004; Leslie et al.,2004), and are medicated at higher rates than their non-foster peers (e.g. Leslie et al., 2011; Zito et al.,2003). Research shows prescription of multiple medications is also a common occurrence in foster care. The proposed study seeks to answer the question: what are foster care youth’s mental health and medication use while in placement? This research employs a quantitative descriptive study to examine medication and conduct reports for foster youth in a residential placement. Findings suggest there is no correlation between medication use and conduct reports, although further research is needed to understand what impact medication has on conduct and placement stability. Understanding medication use and the presentation of behaviors provides insight into practices of medication management and mental health support, which impacts youth in care.

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