International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Pathways to Adulthood for Foster Care Adolescents: Integrating the Insights of Developmental Psychology and Social Work
Marie Robert, Monique Séguin, Kieron O’Connor

The successful transition to adulthood of youths who had displayed behavioral problems during adolescence is an issue that has begun to command the attention of scientists. In order to increase our understanding of this phenomenon, it would be useful to create links between these two areas of research which, until now, have ignored each other. Recent work in developmental psychology and social work has produced knowledge that is relevant to the subject. However, because of their distinct analytical perspectives and different publication venues, the scientific community is faced with a fragmentation of expertise related to this subject. By focusing on the empirical results of studies recently conducted in these two areas, this article will try to more concretely show that current insights point to the same conclusions: 1) compared to earlier phases of development, the transition phase to adulthood is likely to be characterized by more ruptures and changes and 2) newly emerging experiences and contexts could play an important role in the redirection of life trajectories. It is necessary to not only combine information from the two areas of study but also to consider the strengths and limitations of each. We will thus aim to better understand the specific processes that occur during this phase of transition to adulthood.

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