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A systematic review of school performance and behavioural and emotional problems for adopted children

Brown, Andrew ORCID:, Waters, Cerith S. ORCID: and Shelton, Katherine Helen ORCID: 2017. A systematic review of school performance and behavioural and emotional problems for adopted children. Adoption and Fostering 41 (4) , pp. 346-368. 10.1177/0308575917731064

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Education performance for children adopted from care is worthy of serious, comprehensive and robust investigation. Whilst there is a legal duty on Local Authorities in England and Wales to collate and monitor Looked After Children’s (LAC) academic achievement and attainment, adopted children’s educational progress is not specifically scrutinised. This systematic review addresses a gap in knowledge regarding the academic attainment and behavioural development of school-age children who have been adopted from care. A total of 15 published articles were selected for review, based on a stringent set of inclusion criteria. With one exception, adoption was associated with lower academic attainment and elevated levels of behavioural problems across childhood, adolescence and emerging adulthood compared with non-adopted comparison groups. Collectively, the findings suggest that the school performance of adopted children should be routinely monitored. The findings also point to a need to recognise the potential challenges faced by children adopted from care by working with families, schools, practitioners and researchers to identify the means through which children can achieve the best possible outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adoption, education, systematic review, academic attainment, school performance, behavioural problems, Looked After Children
Publisher: British Association of Adoption and Fostering
ISSN: 0308-5759
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 4 July 2017
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 10:48

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