Perceived social support among adolescents in Residential Youth Care
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Social support may be of particular importance for vulnerable adolescents' develop-ment and health and can help them to cope with stressful life events. However,knowledge of perceived social support among adolescents in Residential Youth Care(RYC) is sparse. The present study therefore aimed to investigate perceived socialsupport among adolescents in Norwegian RYC (N= 304, mean age 16.3 years, girls57.2%), using a short form of the Social Support Questionnaire. The results werecompared with adolescents in the general population. The findings revealed thatadolescents in RYC reported a lower number of support persons compared withthe general population. Both populations reported a decreasing number of supportpersons as they aged, except for girls in RYC. The adolescents in both populationswere satisfied with the support perceived, especially those with the highest numberof support persons. However, social support providers differed between the two pop-ulations; RYC adolescents reported their extended family, other sources of support,and the institutional staff more often and their parents less. The findings are impor-tant for adolescents living in RYC, as knowledge of their social support network couldinfluence the current practices and ensure contact with important support persons,affecting their development and health.