Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Additional Affiliations

Brown School of Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Promoting child well-being is one of the three primary goals of the child welfare system. In contrast to safety and permanency, the other two primary goals, that are precisely defined in the federal statute, well-being remains undefined and poorly understood. Recently, the Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF) highlighted one facet of child well-being -- social and emotional well-being -- as a particular focus of the agency. These categories, i.e. behavior, emotional development and social functioning collectively are referred to as social and emotional well-being. The relationship between these constructs is unknown although it is likely that they are related to each other. Consequently, it is unclear which constructs, or if all, should be assessed to comprehensively measure social and emotional well-being. Unfortunately well-being cannot be directly analyzed because most of the available measures assess ill-being or the negative aspects of constructs.

The purpose of this dissertation was to develop empirically based, conceptual models of social-emotional ill-being for child welfare-involved youth in two age groups, 8-10 year olds and 11-17 year olds. These models were built through a systematic process of confirmatory factor analyses, which is in the analytic family of structural equation modeling. Because of the ability to include latent variables, i.e. variables not directly observable, and to specify the relationships between constructs, structural equation modeling was uniquely suited to testing these relationships.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Patricia L. Kohl

Committee Members

Derek Brown, F. Brett Drake, Shenyang Guo, Ramesh Raghavan,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7XK8CV8

Included in

Social Work Commons