‘Going through a separation together’ A study on social support and resilience in adolescents, in the face of parental separation
Reuten Gouveia Blanco, Johanna
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During adolescence, resilience can be a protective factor when coping with difficult or stressful situations. Previous studies have revealed that both parental support and support from friends are positively associated with resilience. Studies have also shown that having a good support system can help navigate through stressful situations, such as parental separation. However, to date, little is known about whether or how the association between support and resilience differs for adolescents with separated parents compared to those without. The present study examined the association between social support and resilience, and the possible moderating effect of having separated parents. The study was based on a nationally representative sample of 6.118 Dutch adolescents (aged 12 -16) from the Dutch Sentinel Study (Peilstationsonderzoek). Results showed that adolescents felt highly supported by both their parents and their friends. Experienced social support was positively associated with adolescents’ level of resilience. Having separated parents, did not moderate the association between social support and resilience. Further research is needed to study whether the circumstances of a separation influence resilience, and how adolescents make use of their support system during a separation.