It is important for foster caregivers to understand children's basic and psychological needs in order to provide better life experiences, and minimize the risk and vulnerability they previously experienced. Thus, this study is designed to understand clothing selection motivations and the meaning of possessions for foster tweens and how these are related to their life experiences in foster care group homes. We conducted qualitative in-depth focus group interviews with 18 tweens in a foster care group home in the Southwest region in the U.S. Thematic interpretation was used to analyze the interview data. Six themes emerged from the data including social acceptance, self-expression, family connection, independence, ownership, and respect. Participants expressed their individual character by the clothing they chose and expressed various needs of self-expression and social interaction. We also found that clothing and possessions play an important role in giving meanings to social interactions for tweens in the foster home. Furthermore, the findings of this study emphasize the need for proper education of foster care parents and tweens regarding ownership of property and respect in a foster care group home.
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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