• Exploring the Use of an Emancipation Checklist for Older Youth (18-21) Exiting Foster Care

      Summers, Alicia; Shdaimah, Corey S.; Knoche, Victoria A. (2018-12)
      This paper examines the efforts of a court to improve outcomes for older youth who are exiting foster care by implementing an Emancipation Checklist (EC) to guide discussion around 12 stability indicators thought to improve youth transition to adulthood (e.g., education, employment). Over 90% of youth had medical insurance, all personal documents, a permanent connection, and could identify their core values. Less than half had employments or were engaged in educational or vocational training. Youth who exited when they were older and who attended more of their court hearings had more stability indicators. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
    • The Relationship Between Alcohol Use and Gambling in Emerging Adulthood

      Jun, Hyun-Jin; Harrington, Donna; Sacco, Paul (2017)
      Emerging adults (ages 18-29 years) display higher prevalence and co-occurrence of alcohol use and gambling than do adults over age 29, which may lead to negative psychological symptoms, behavioral problems, and socioeconomic and medical costs. However, nationally representative research focused on the developmental relationships across these behaviors is limited. This study used multiple waves of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data to examine the relationships between earlier depressive symptoms (Wave III), antisocial behaviors (Wave III), alcohol use (Wave III), and gambling behaviors (Wave III) as predictors of later gambling behaviors (Wave IV) in emerging adults ages 18-29 while adjusting for relevant sociodemographic characteristics ((Waves I, II, and IV). It also examined gender differences in those prospective links. Findings from the path analysis suggested that alcohol-use behaviors were associated with antisocial behaviors but not with depressive symptoms, and earlier gambling behaviors were the best predictors of later gambling behaviors. Earlier depressive symptoms and binge drinking were associated with decreased risk of later gambling participation. Interestingly, endorsement of earlier antisocial behaviors was indirectly associated with a decreased risk of later gambling participation through its effect on binge drinking. The findings from multigroup analyses identified significant gender differences in the relationships between past-year alcohol use and heavy drinking (Wave III), binge drinking (Wave III) and gambling problems (Wave IV), and alcohol-related problems and gambling participation (Wave III). However, the only parameter statistically significant in models for both gender groups was past-year alcohol use and heavy drinking, indicating that a stronger association for men than women. The results suggest the need to focus on multiple risk behaviors and support for screening and early intervention for these risk behaviors (i.e., alcohol use and gambling) as a means of secondary prevention in emerging adults. Future research should further investigate the roles of antisocial behaviors, binge drinking, and gambling during emerging adulthood in vulnerability for future alcohol and gambling problems and consider other confounding factors and gender-specific risk factors.
    • Resilience in young adults: An assessment of individual, family and community level protective factors

      Hisle-Gorman, Elizabeth; Harrington, Donna (2008)
      Problem statement. Childhood poverty and child maltreatment are problems that affect millions of children, and often result in a range of negative sequelae. Yet, some individuals do well despite hardship. Understanding resilient survivors of child maltreatment and factors that contribute to their resilience is needed to best serve others who have been abused and neglected. Methods. Young adults (age 18-35) enrolled in college and in a Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) welfare to work job training program were surveyed on demographic, risk and protective factors, and indicators of resilience. Resilience was measured using a composite score composed of seven indicators of resilience (college and employment participation, scholastic achievement, self esteem, postponing childbearing, avoiding early drug and alcohol use, avoiding post traumatic stress disorder, and avoiding depression). Results. An internal locus of control, the presence of a familial mentor, religious involvement and a positive high school experience were all significant protective factors that contributed to resilience against child maltreatment and childhood poverty. As expected, recruitment site also significantly predicted resilience. Conclusion. An internal locus of control, the presence of a familial mentor, religious involvement and a positive high school experience are all associated with global resilience in young adults.