Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Neil H. Katz


emotional intelligence, foster care, foster parents, parenting skills, perceived value


The experiences of a child in the foster care system rely heavily on the preparedness ofthe foster parent. For decades, researchers and practitioners have written about the challenges that foster children face while in the foster care system and discussed ways to assist them. This research discusses another way to improve the preparedness of a foster child as they go through the foster care system—improving the parenting skills of the foster parent using emotional intelligence. The entirety of this study is the analysis and study of this specific research question, “What perceived impact can emotional intelligence training (IV) have on how licensed foster parents treat children in their homes (DV)?” The researcher’s hypothesis was “If states offered emotional intelligence training for foster parents, then their parenting skills would improve.” After using surveys to question foster parents in North and South Carolina, the research concluded that foster parents strongly believed they would greatly benefit from incorporating a comprehensive emotional intelligence training program into the training regimen. The researcher concludes the study by developing a shell emotional intelligence training program aimed to maximize the potential of each foster parent as they care for children in their home.