Assistant Professor Dana Prince obtained funding from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (NIMHD/LRP) to support her research program “Pathways to Well Being for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care.”
Current research demonstrates that youth who exit foster care without having attained permanency are at elevated risk for adverse outcomes. However, studies are needed that explicate the role of state-level variation in supports for transition-age youth to identify intervention targets for enhanced stability and well being outcomes.
Further, relatively little is known about the role of informal supports that youth rely on during, and after, transition from care. Dr. Prince is conducting mixed methods research to address these gaps. First, she is utilizing multiple national data sets from a variety of federal agencies to investigate the contribution of individual youth risk and protective factors in the context of state- level factors on well being outcomes such as homelessness for transition age youth. Second, she is engaged in a qualitative study of the perceptions of permanency, trauma-informed services, and informal social supports among youth who are at risk for, or who have already, aged out of foster care. A major Implication of this work will be to identify intervention targets at multiple levels to increase stability and promote well being among transition-age youth.