Foster Care during Early Childhood
Children who are in foster care often exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotional, and physiological problems. Some of the significant challenges they face include forming new attachment relationships and developing the ability to regulate their behavior and their physiological responses to stress. Because of the unique needs and experiences of this group of children, caregivers often find it difficult to ensure that children are provided with the nurturance and care they need in order to develop secure relationships while also providing children with the appropriate amount of behavioral supports so that they can learn to regulate their behavior.
In efforts to improve these children’s developmental outcomes, we assessed the efficacy of ABC among this population. Parents were randomly assigned to either receive ABC or to receive a control intervention of the same duration and frequency. We then followed up with the families annually until the children were 4-years-old. Children’s ability to regulate attention, behavior, and physiology were assessed throughout the study period.