Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Farmer, PhD

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Secret, PhD

Third Advisor

Dr. Patrick Dattalo, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Rosalie Corona, PhD


This study examined the influence of positive youth development factors and social capital on outcomes among youth in group home care. One of the major assumptions of this study was that existing research is deficit-focused and provides little evidence of what practices are linked to positive outcomes among youth residing in and exiting group homes. A conceptual model was developed to depict the influence of predictors (derived from the Positive Youth Develop Framework and Social Capital Theory) on youth outcomes – change in psychosocial problem severity and prosocial behavior, living environment, school involvement, employment, delinquency, and extracurricular activity. An exploratory analysis of secondary data was conducted. Multiple regression and binary logistic regression were used to answer the overarching question, What group home factors correlate with positive outcomes among youth? Major findings from these analyses showed: 1) group home staff’s positive view of youths’ competence impacted youths’ psychosocial problem severity, and 2) for youth who exhibited troublesome behavior while in group care, if they experienced a trusting relationship with an adult staff member, they are more likely to exhibit prosocial behaviors after leaving group care.


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