Foster Children's Expressions of Ambiguous Loss
ambiguous loss, foster care
The theory of ambiguous loss is useful in understanding the experiences and challenges of the foster care system. Its indications are illustrated with foster children's perceptions and stories. These include semi-structured interviews with 23 foster children aged 7 to 12 years, and stories provided by 182 foster children, aged 2 years to 10, to the Blacky Pictures. The pervasive presence of ambiguous loss in the stories of these foster children illustrates that many behavioral indicators of cognitive and emotional discomfort in foster children are normative and that our interventions with them and their institutionalized caretakers could be effectively guided by this knowledge.
Original Publication Citation
Lee, R. E., & Whiting, J. B. (2007). Foster children’s expressions of ambiguous loss. American Journal of Family Therapy, 35. 417-428. doi: doi.org/10.1080/01926180601057499
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lee, Robert E. and Whiting, Jason B. PhD, "Foster Children's Expressions of Ambiguous Loss" (2007). All Faculty Publications. 2152.
The American Journal of Family Therapy
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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