Foster caregiver insightfulness and emotional investment in foster children

Nina Koren-Karie, Raanan Markman-Gefen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: The study examined foster caregivers’ insightfulness (Oppenheim & Koren-Karie, 2009) and emotional investment (Bates & Dozier, 2002) in a sample of foster caregivers living in family group homes. Thirty caregivers were observed with two of the several children under their care: one identified by the social worker of the family group home as the most challenging child in the home, and one identified as the least challenging one. Study questions focused on the correlation between children’s levels of challenging behaviors and their foster caregivers’ insightfulness and emotional investment. Findings: Results suggest that children’s challenging behaviors are associated with their caregivers’ emotional investment but not with their insightfulness. Caregivers tended to show similar patterns of insightfulness toward both easy and challenging children, but tended to show higher emotional investment in easy children than in more challenging ones. Applications: The results demonstrate the complexity of foster parenting and the need to include both insightfulness and emotional investment in the supervision and training of foster parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-509
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • Social work
  • attachment
  • child development
  • emotional investment
  • foster care
  • insightfulness
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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