Abstract: WITHDRAWN: Early Childbirth Among Maltreated Female Foster Youth: A Latent Class Analysis to Determine Subgroups at Greater Risk (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

224 WITHDRAWN: Early Childbirth Among Maltreated Female Foster Youth: A Latent Class Analysis to Determine Subgroups at Greater Risk

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Bryn King, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Andrea Lane, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar/Research Associate, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Claudette Grinnell-Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, OK
Elizabeth M. Aparicio, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD
Introduction: Although the adolescent birth rate is in significant decline, various subgroups of American youth continue to experience differential risk for early childbirth, including those in foster care. Research on birth rates among youth in foster care has identified that those who enter care as adolescents, who have run away from placement, or who have experienced substantial placement instability have higher rates of birth. Importantly, the ways in which these experiences interact to both determine trajectories in care and influence the likelihood of early childbirth is largely undetermined. Given their increased vulnerability as young parents, the identification of subgroups with a higher likelihood of pregnancy and parenting is warranted. This information can be used to better target efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy and promote the sexual and reproductive well-being for this population.

Methods: A longitudinal, population-based dataset was constructed by probabilistically matching California child protective service records for female foster youth to maternal information available on vital birth records. These data were used to conduct a latent class analysis (LCA) that developed profiles of girls who spent time in foster care during adolescence based on key characteristics of their foster care experiences. We then determined the probability of a first birth before age 20 based on class membership.

Results: The LCA detected four distinct classes of girls who spent time in care during adolescence, which were characterized by age at entry into care, length of stay in care, placement instability, running away from care, and changing placements due to behavioral issues. Class 1 was older at entry, spent less time in care, and experienced high level of instability. Class 2 was similar except these girls experienced very low instability. Class 3 was younger at entry, had longer stays, and experienced high levels of instability. Class 4 was also younger and had longer stays, but they experienced very low instability. Among these four classes, the probability of subsequent adolescent childbirth ranged from a high of 31% (class 1) to a low of 15% (class 4), with classes 2 and 3 experiencing moderate risk (23% and 24%, respectively).

Conclusions: The results indicate that there are readily identifiable profiles of maltreated female foster youth who may benefit from prevention and early intervention services, enhanced support, and access to reliable, consistent sexual and reproductive health care.