Risk profiles of children entering residential care: A cluster analysis

Jessica L. Hagaman, Alexandra L. Trout, M. Beth Chmelka, Ronald W. Thompson, Robert Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Children in residential care are a heterogeneous population, presenting various combinations of risks. Existing studies on these children suggest high variability across multiple domains (e.g., academics, behavior). Given this heterogeneity, it is important to begin to identify the combinations and patterns of multiple risks, or risk profiles, these children present. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the academic and behavioral risk profiles of children entering residential care. Cluster analysis procedures using academic and behavior variables revealed three distinct profiles of children: Group 1: Average Janes, characterized by average academic skills, no behavior problems, and some demographic risks; Group 2: Academic Risks, characterized by low academics and increased rule-breaking behavior; and finally Group 3: Behavioral Risks, characterized by average academics and elevated behaviors. These preliminary finding are discussed along with limitations, directions for future research, and implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cluster analysis
  • Out-of-home care
  • Residential care
  • Risk factors
  • Risk profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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