Misja Eiberg defends her PhD thesis


'Educational support interventions for children in out-of-home care'.

Time and place

17th May 2022 at 1 pm (CET).

The defence will take place at CSS, room 2.1.30, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen.

Assessment committee

  • Associate Professor Jesper Dammeyer, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chair)

  • Professor Kristine M. Jensen de Lopez, Aalborg University, Denmark

  • Professor Robert J. Flynn, University of Ottawa, Canada


  • Professor Simo Køppe, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 


A growing body of research has consistently documented an educational disadvantage of children in out-of-home care compared to their peers. The thesis approaches the educational gap from the point of developmental neuropsychology and cognitive psychology, and the study’s main objective is to improve school performance by supporting the acquisition of academic skills and promoting central prerequisites in cognitive functioning and learning capacities. In a sample of 153 children in foster care (66% girls) in grades 1–7, the thesis investigates the effectiveness of two different approaches to school support in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The RCT involves three groups: a home-based intervention called ‘Foster Caregivers as Tutors’ (FCT), a school-based intervention named ‘LUKoP’, and treatment-as-usual (TAU). The baseline assessment showed that, on average, the children were behind in reading and math and had significantly poorer psychosocial and cognitive function than the norm population. The analysis of the RCT showed that neither FCT, LUKoP, nor TAU provided significant academic recovery. However, the LUKoP intervention had significant cognitive effects. The thesis documents and discusses the importance of considering child development in research on the educational outcomes of children in out-of-home care and points to future directions for school support interventions.