Overlooked: Children with disabilities in residential care

Alexandra L. Trout, Kathryn Casey, M. Beth Chmelka, Catherine DeSalvo, Robert Reid, Michael H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


While estimates suggest that 10% to 31% of children in residential care are identified as with a disability, little is known about their characteristics or functioning as compared to nondisabled peers. This study evaluated data of 123 children with (n = 34) and without (n = 89) disabilities in residential care to determine demographic, behavioral, mental health, and educational characteristics. Data included demographic, behavior checklist, and standardized mental health and academic measures. Results indicated that both groups presented elevated risks; however, scores for children with disabilities revealed even greater levels of need. Primary risks were found on indicators of behaviors (e.g., social functioning), mental illness (e.g., anxiety), and academic performance (e.g., general knowledge and reading). Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-136
Number of pages26
JournalChild welfare
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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