This study uses a national sample of 1,215 children, ages 6-17, who spent some time in formal kinship or nonrelative foster care to identify the effect of placement type on academic achievement, behavior, and health. Several identification strategies are used to reduce selection bias, including ordinary least squares, change score models, propensity score weighting, and instrumental variables regression. The results consistently estimate a negative effect of kin placements on reading scores, but kin placements appear to have no effect on child health, and findings on children's math and cognitive skills test scores and behavioral problems are mixed. Estimated declines in both academic achievement and behavioral problems are concentrated among children who are lower functioning at baseline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology