Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


Removing a youth from the care of their biological family can place them at heightened risk for behavioral, emotional, social, and academic problems, and contribute to parenting stress. Foster caregivers with a high burden level may be impeded in their ability to function effectively. Our study investigated relationships between foster parent stress, coping efficacy, coping strategies, and parenting style to identify effective coping strategies in 178 foster parents. Current foster parents completed self-report measures assessing parenting styles, Coping Self Efficacy Scale (CSE), Brief COPE, and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Results indicated foster parents with more than three years of experience fostering endorsed significantly higher levels of perceived stress in comparison to foster parents with less than three years’ experience fostering, however there were no significant between group differences in coping self-efficacy. Problem focused coping strategies and problem focused coping strategies with support were found to significantly predict level of coping efficacy. Results suggest foster parents can still experience high amounts of stress even if they have effective coping strategies, however they remain confident in their abilities to manage their stressors. Results also indicated foster parents that specifically implemented problem focused coping strategies with support, as compared to other coping strategies, experienced higher confidence in their coping abilities. Implications of this study for foster care agencies are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons