Using data from both the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth, researchers explored the risk of health problems in former foster children. Kym R. Ahrens, Michelle M. Garrison, and Mark E. Courtney examined whether young adults with a foster or economically insecure background had a greater risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, than young adults from economically secure backgrounds. They found that those from an economically secure background had the lowest risk of chronic disease, and former foster children had the highest risk, even beyond what could be attributed to financial insecurity. Former foster children and economically insecure young adults were also less likely to have health insurance when compared to the economically secure group.
- Kym R. Ahrens, Center for Child Health Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Institute; Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Michelle M. Garrison, Center for Child Health Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Institute; Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Mark E. Courtney, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago