Children and adolescents in the child welfare system tend to face a series of stressful events leading up to their residential placements, and many display severe psychopathology and have multiple abuse histories. Transactional theory (SpaccareUi, 1994) is a framework that has relevance for conceptualizing and researching stress and cognitive attributions of children placed in residential care systems. Applying transactional theory to children in residential care would provide much-needed descriptive data, inform future research and help guide treatment planning.
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