Tag Archives: Dr. Roxanne Moschetti

A Safe Place to Live?

Only six percent of former foster children earn a college degree, according to a 2011 study from the University of Chicago.

CSUN Professor of Child and Adolescent Development Dr. Roxanne Moschetti is in the small group of former foster children who beat the statistic.

“When I think about how I ended up where I am now, as opposed to where I started,” Moschetti said, “it was little things, like a fourth grade teacher that asked me to help them with a bulletin board after school – small things – or like a school nurse that acknowledged that my handwriting was nice.”

The insecurity of the foster care system makes normal childhood difficult.

“[A new foster home] was always very foreign,” Moschetti said. “Even if your family lives under a bridge, even though we were homeless, or even though our home was really, really chaotic, it was still familiar to me.”

Child S.H.A.R.E recruiter Bob Levy was moved from home to home as a foster child.

“I was a pretty good kid but I bounced four times in three years,” he said, “so trying to socialize in school was very traumatic because as soon as they knew you were a kid in foster care, and word got around, you’re labeled, so that was very hard to deal with. And then just trying to keep up with your school work is devastating because as soon as you change a school, it’s a different curriculum.”

Los Angeles County has the highest number of foster children of any county in California. According to the Department of Children and Family Services, more than 30,000 children are in the Los Angeles foster care system.

Moschetti said the large number of foster children in Los Angeles could have something to do with the environment.

“When you’re looking at counties, and you’re looking at foster care rates within them, you also look at the other things,” she said. “So [you look at] poverty levels, socio economic status, substance abuse, and things like that, because they all go hand in hand.”

Moschetti said past trauma and lack of attachment make the adjustment to a new home even harder.

“We really focus on attachment,” she said. “So [we look at] the reason that has brought the children into the foster home. If it’s abuse, if it’s severe abuse and neglect, [then] they haven’t formed secure attachment with their caregivers. That can carry on longterm as well as any trauma.”

That trauma can continue into the next generation, and Levy says children of fostered youth make up a number of those in the system.

“What we are finding is that a lot of these kids that are placed in foster care are having children that they are putting into foster care,” he said.

“If you look at longitudinal studies on children that were abused and neglected, unfortunately often times they do become abusers,” Moschetti said.

But Levy encourages children in the foster care system to stay positive regardless of statistics.

“For the foster child that’s feeling kind of hopeless, know that they are wonderful, that God made them special and precious, and they have skills and talent,” he said. “The fact that they have had to survive and go through these things will actually make them more resilient to the pressures of the world.”

Moderator: Brenda Garcia

Producer: Teresa Arevalo

Anchor: Alexis Wadley

Reporters: Wahid Lodin and Gloria Star

Social Media Editor: Kelsey Ducklow

Comments Off on A Safe Place to Live?

When Bullying Goes Viral

Cyber bullying continues to affect kids, adolescents and adults nationwide. About 32 percent of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of annoying and potentially menacing online activities, according to a Pew Research Study. The study also indicated that older adolescent girls are more likely to report being bullied than any other age and gender group.

Research on cyber bullying is growing, but because technology use changes rapidly, it is difficult to design surveys that accurately capture trends, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey.

Dr. Brendesha Tynes, associate professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Southern California, agreed the research studies are not quite accurate.

“The studies that are out there — some of the national representative studies — show only about 10 percent of the population are experiencing cyber bullying,” Tynes said.

Roxanne Moschetti, assistant professor in CSUN’s Department of Adolescent and Child Development, said social media, particularly anonymous posting apps such as YikYak, make it difficult for educators and parents to battle cyber bullying.

“Even if we are doing our job about educating everyone about reporting cyber bullying,” Moschetti said,  “if they are using an app like that, it cannot be traced back. I can see apps like that allowing bullying to go under the radar.”

Moschetti said another problem is that kids do not want to admit to their parents that they are being bullied. She said that increased anxiety and withdrawal from social interaction are two common signs that a child might be uncomfortable.

Monica Barajas, Special Operations Administrator of the Family Violence Unit at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, said that harsher punishments would help minimize the amount of cyber bullying in schools.

“The law should implement more regulations and have harsher consequences, even at the school district level and college level,” Barajas said. “Our education, citywide in the city of Los Angeles, is to constantly educated people to report it to law enforcement if they feel they are being victimized.”

Currently, the US Supreme Court is considering where to draw the line when it comes to protecting free speech on social media.

“If you are saying direct things and issuing direct threats online, then there should be a limit to your free speech,” Tynes said.

Moschetti says it is important to distinguish the difference between a threat and free speech.

“That’s where the education comes in,” she said. “What is a threat and what is free speech? You have to pay close attention to that, and educate everyone involved.”

Barajas said that prosecuters feel that if a reasonable person feels threatened by online harassment and reports it, that’s enough for law enforcement officials to move forward and investigate.

“What I would hope to see is more reporting,” Moschetti said, “and taking it seriously – where everyone takes it seriously.”

“The other part is the bully,” Barajas said. “Getting education and resources for that person who is doing it. It’s the resources for those people, and the counseling, and figuring out what is happening in their home that they are constantly on someone else.

“My hope is we will get more of these apps like Rethink, that help people evaluate whether they want to send a message,” Tynes said. “Don’t send this. Think twice, and hopefully more people will do that.”


Moderator: Carly Bagingito

Producer: Alex Vejar

Anchor: Katie Fauskee

Social Media Editor: Lauren Llanos

Reporters: Dean Perez and Zulay Saldana

Comments Off on When Bullying Goes Viral