Compliance and Internalization in Preschool Foster Children

Brenda Jones Harden, Aimée Drouin Duncan, Colleen I. Morrison, Carlomagno Panlilio, Robert B. Clyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Child compliance and internalization are socio-cognitive developmental processes which are critical for children's social outcomes in multiple arenas. These developmental processes are found to be compromised in maltreated children. The current study was designed to add to the extremely limited literature on compliance and internalization in maltreated children in foster care. Compliance and internalization tasks were administered to preschool foster children, videotaped and later coded. Through parent-report questionnaires completed by the foster parents and observations of the foster home, the relation of compliance/internalization to child behavior problems, foster care experiences, and the foster home environment was examined. Findings revealed that most children showed committed compliance, but over 50% of children exhibited "deviation" behaviors in the internalization task. HOME acceptance scores (via observation of parent and child in home setting) significantly contributed to children's compliance levels but did not significantly contribute to their internalization. Internalization was related to children's externalizing behavior problems. These findings are considered in the context of future research and practice with respect to young children in foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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