This study uses triangulation to examine the presence and influence of risk factors in the lives of individuals who aged-out of foster care (N=25). Using Akers’ social learning theory as the theoretical framework, participants are examined through the concepts of differential association, definitions, differential reinforcement, and imitation. Compared with state and national averages on risk factors, aged-out foster care participants are more vulnerable than the general population. The results of this study suggest that aged-out foster care participants disproportionately experience risk factors associated with crime, but can be positively affected by independent living facilities.
Aging-Out, Crime, Foster Care, Social Learning, and Sociology