Positive peer relationships, coping and resilience in young people in alternative care: A systematic review

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The positive impact for young people in alternative care of attachment relationships with adults is well documented. The potential role of peers in fulfilling attachment needs in this population warrants further investigation. This paper presents a systematic review of existing quantitative evidence exploring how positive peer relationships influence psychological variables related to coping and resilience in young people in alternative care The review targeted literature relating to adolescents aged 10-18 living in alternative care. A systematic search of the literature for studies of psychological resilience-based variables and peer relationships led to the inclusion of 10 papers. An assessment of the studies using methodological quality ratings was conducted. Four key themes emerged: (1) Perceived satisfaction with peer relationships; (2) The impact of peer group networks; (3) Positive attachments in adolescence and; (4) The role of social skills. The findings highlight the need to investigate more positive outcomes using standardized measures for variables of resilience and peer attachment directly in this population. It summarizes the current evidence and lays the foundation for future robust longitudinal studies exploring peer relationships and resilience variables directly. It puts forward the need for a positive developmental rhetoric, drawn directly from the strengths of this group.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105861
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and youth services review
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • alternative care
  • peer
  • adolescents
  • resilience
  • relationships


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