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Quality of Life Outcomes for Adolescents in Youth Care

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Swerts

    (Ghent University
    HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Social-Educational Care Work, EQUALITY//Research Collective)

  • Laura E. Gómez

    (University of Oviedo)

  • Margo Dewitte

    (Ghent University)

  • Jessica Maeyer

    (HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Social-Educational Care Work, EQUALITY//Research Collective)

  • Wouter Vanderplasschen

    (Ghent University)

Abstract

Internationally, Quality of life (QOL) research among children and adolescents has seen a marked proliferation over the past decades. Despite conceptual and methodological progress in this field, there still is much to learn about the QOL of young people involved in child and youth welfare and protection services. The present study investigates how adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in residential and non-residential youth care services (N = 271) perceive their QOL on the basis of a new specific measure: the Quality of Life in Youth Services Scale (QOLYSS). It further examined associations between demographic and placement-related factors and adolescents’ QOL. Descriptive statistics, correlational analyses, and multiple regression analyses were carried out for the overall and domain-specific QOL outcomes. Results show that adolescents reported the highest QOL scores regarding self-determination, material well-being, and personal development. The highest proportions of low domain scores were found in emotional well-being, social inclusion, rights, and physical well-being. Female gender, residential care, and older age were identified as factors associated with lower QOL in a number of QOL domains. Concerning the placement-related factors, length in care and age at entry in care, no significant association was found. The findings of this study support the importance of upholding a broad and multifaceted approach in research and practice when evaluating adolescents’ QOL. This study shed light on several specific areas that require particular attention when aiming to enhance the QOL of adolescents in everyday practice and draws attention to gender and contextual disparities.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Swerts & Laura E. Gómez & Margo Dewitte & Jessica Maeyer & Wouter Vanderplasschen, 2023. "Quality of Life Outcomes for Adolescents in Youth Care," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 16(5), pages 1987-2011, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:chinre:v:16:y:2023:i:5:d:10.1007_s12187-023-10053-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s12187-023-10053-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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