Sibling relationships and internalizing symptoms of youth in foster care

Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Lenore M. McWey, Christine M. Helfrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Compared to the sibling literature of the general population, little is known about sibling relationships of youth in foster care. The current study aimed to report on sibling relationships among youth in foster care, and investigate the potential protective nature of sibling relationships of those who have experienced trauma on the expression of internalizing symptoms among a nationally representative sample of 152 adolescents in foster care. Results indicated that the large majority of the sample was currently separated from their sibling. Of those who were not living with their sibling, nearly three quarters saw their sibling monthly or less frequently with one third of the sample reporting never having any contact with their sibling. In addition, bootstrapping methods were used to determine if sibling relationships mediated the effect of trauma on internalizing symptoms. Results indicated that a positive sibling relationship significantly mediated this relationship. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1077
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Foster care
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Mediation
  • Perceptions of sibling relationship quality
  • Trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'Sibling relationships and internalizing symptoms of youth in foster care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this