Mental Health Service Experiences for Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood

This is an ongoing project.

Faculty Researcher: Megan Piel

Contact Details

Megan Hayes Piel


This study examines the mental health experiences of former foster youth, as they transition to adulthood. Experiences of maltreatment and system involvement compounded by the transition to independent living and adulthood can be especially difficult for youth in foster care who likely have less social, emotional, and financial support. Using a behavior analytic model, this research examines the situations these young adults encountered in managing their mental health after turning 18.

The research assistant on this project will gain experience with participant engagement, survey administration, research methods and analysis, as well as potential opportunities to write reports, articles, and/or present at research conferences.


Seeking a highly motivated student who is interested in pursuing graduate studies, particularly in the disciplines of social work, psychology, psychiatry, pre-med/pediatrics or public health. Preference will be given to applicants who have some course experience in the area of social sciences. The ideal candidate has strong written and verbal communication skills, and is able to work independently to accomplish tasks as assigned. I am also interested in developing a mentoring relationship with students who are passionate and motivated to assist in research that addresses the mental health and well-being of youth and young adults with a history of foster care.

Project Timeline

This project will begin in December 2017 and be ongoing until May 2018.


The research assistant will work roughly 8-10 hours per week. Money can be budgeted through UROP to pay the research assistant for their work-related time. The research assistant will help recruit participants, coordinate survey administration, and assist with data analysis. There is also potential for involvement in scholarly work, such as future reports, publications, or conference presentations that will benefit the student’s pursuit of future graduate-level studies.

Project-related Tags

Last Updated

December 1, 2017