Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.
Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.
Date of Award
Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Jon Frew, PhD, ABPP
Catherine Moonshine, PhD, MSCP MAC, CADC III
Christiane Brems, PhD
Every year 25,000 to 30,000 adolescents in foster care will be emancipated into independent living on their own. They will neither be reunited with the family nor will they be adopted into another family. Without adequate social support emancipated foster care alumni will struggle to meet many of their basic needs. Research provides sufficient evidence that the outcomes for this group are grim including problems in education, homelessness, and mental health. While some believe that these outcomes are primarily a result of traumatic histories prior to being placed in foster care, it is important to consider that there also exists a distinct culture in foster care that threatens the development of children in ways that follow them into adulthood. As emancipated foster care alumni seek mental health treatment to cope with various concerns, it is crucial that the cultural contexts of their development be considered in assessment and intervention. In this study cultural characteristics of foster care will be identified and evidence provided supporting Gestalt therapy as a compelling approach to treating emancipated foster care alumni in a culturally sensitive manner.
Hendrickson, Jordan M. (2012). Gestalt therapy with emancipated foster care alumni: An exploration of culture (Doctoral dissertation, Pacific University). Retrieved from: