Associations between non-parental adult support and youths’ individual and contextual characteristics
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Mirković, Barbara, Brady, Bernadine, & Silke, Charlotte. (2021). Associations Between non-parental Adult Support and Youths’ Individual and Contextual Characteristics. Child Care in Practice, doi:10.1080/13575279.2020.1865875
While the role parents play in supporting young people is well established, support from other caring adults also becomes important during adolescence, particularly when young people are facing problems in their lives. The goal of this paper is to reflect on youth support seeking when facing problems, exploring differences between youth who seek support from parents only and those who seek support from parents and other non-parental adults. This paper outlines the findings of a secondary analysis of data from the third wave of the Growing up in Ireland child cohort at 17/18 years, collected from primary caregivers and youth. From 6126 young people in the national sample, 91.3% answered the selective question about the type of adult support they seek. Of this cohort, 36% of young people seek support from a parent and 48% go to a parent and another adult. Comparing these groups, there are significant differences found in both their individual and contextual characteristics, with better outcomes for youth with additional non-parental adult support, including using active coping strategies, better selfesteem, and identity resolution. While the findings indicate that non-parental adults have a positive influence in different areas of youth well-being, further research is required to better understand the ways in which support from non-parental adults helps young people in their transition to adulthood
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