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Title: The moderating role of length of stay in the relationship between cognitive dysregulation and peer attachment in adolescent boys and girls living in residential care
Authors: Lino, Alexandra 
Nobre-Lima, Luiza 
Mónico, Lisete 
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Children and Youth Services Review
Issue: 71
Abstract: In Portugal, youth at risk tend to be placed in residential care for long periods of time, during which peers assume a status close to that of family. However, these adolescents often present deficits in emotional regulation, which can compromise the quality of their relationships with peers. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the relationship between emotional dysregulation experienced by institutionalized adolescents and their own perception of peer attachment, testing whether the length of stay moderates this relationship, for boys and girls independently. Data was collected from a sample of 100 Portuguese adolescents (71 boys; 29 girls), aged 12–18, living in residential care for 43 months average (SD = 43.14). They responded to the Abbreviated Dysregulation Inventory, which measures cognitive, affective and behavioral dysregulation, and the peer version of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, which measures communication, trust and alienation. Only cognitive dysregulation accounted for the variability of perceived attachment to peers, in the total scale and in communication and trust. When the level of cognitive dysregulation reported by the adolescents is high, there is a positive effect of length of stay in the previous relationships, but only for boys. Results outline how length of placement contributes to youth at risk to reach certain outcomes. They also emphasize the need to develop specific interventions in residential care contexts to address specific characteristics such as gender differences, in order to continuously promote positive interactions with peers in these contexts.
DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.11.018
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CINEICC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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