Ego resilience in adult graduates of foster care: A qualitative study of successful adaptation

Date of Completion

January 1993


Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Personality




A purposive sample of 6 ego-resilient adults, between the ages of 20 and 47 years old, who graduated from the foster care system were interviewed in a semi-structured format to encourage the emergence of themes related to their positive adaptation. Additional sources of data, when available, included follow-up interviews with their social worker, an adult who knows them well, and a review of their case record. Qualitative analysis of data led to the appearance of common themes across subjects related to: (1) coping behaviors, (2) industry and motivation, (3) ego identity, and (4) interpersonal style. Issues related to the conceptual paradigm of ego resilience and its nomenclature were raised based on observed differences between the adaptive patterns of these subjects and those typically described in the developmental psychopathology literature. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed. ^