Title

Foster Children's Expressions of Ambiguous Loss

Keywords

ambiguous loss, foster care

Abstract

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

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2007-10-03

Publisher

The American Journal of Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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