This study examines the young adult outcomes of a nationally representative cohort of transition age youth who were involved with the Child Welfare System (CWS) during adolescence. We report on the demographic and psychosocial characteristics, risk of mental health problems, and developmental milestones related to young adult outcome among these transition age youth. We also examined the effect of risk for mental health problems on young adult outcomes, over and above other psychosocial risk factors. Many youth were living in poverty, getting married early and already parenting, involved with the criminal justice system and had high levels of mental health need. Being at risk for a mental health problem increased the likelihood of criminal justice system involvement for these youth. Youth transitioning to adulthood with a history of CWS involvement appear to be at risk for negative developmental outcomes. Our findings are consistent with previous findings and highlight the risks associated with the transition to adulthood for youth who were involved with the CWS in adolescence.
Young adult outcomes and mental health problems among transition age youth investigated for maltreatment during adolescence