The long-term effects of out-of-home placement in late adolescence: A propensity score matching analysis among Swiss youths

Margit Averdijk, Denis Ribeaud, Manuel Eisner


The aim of this study was to examine the outcomes of out-of-home placement in adolescence. We used data from a longitudinal study of Swiss youths and measured all outcomes, including externalising problem behaviour, anxiety and depression, education, and self-efficacy at age 17. Propensity score matching was used to reduce selection effects and multiple imputation to treat the missing values. The findings revealed that youths who were placed in out-of-home care come from disproportionately problematic backgrounds, which complicated their proper matching to youths who were not placed in out-of-home care. Outcome analyses including multiple robustness checks suggest that negative outcomes among youths who were placed in out-of-home care are not so much due to the placement itself, but largely to pre-existing difficulties present already before the placement. 


foster care; problem behaviour; delinquency; longitudinal; propensity score matching

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Copyright (c) 2018 Margit Averdijk, Ribeaud Denis, Manuel Eisner

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