Young people’s views on the impact of care experiences on their ability to form positive intimate relationships.

Abbey Hyde, Deirdre A. Fullerton, Maria Lohan, Laura Dunne, G. Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
145 Downloads (Pure)


Existing literature tells us that one of the factors important to the sexual health and intimate relationships of adolescents is the extent to which teenagers feel emotionally connected and supported by their families. In this article, we analyse the experiences of disconnectedness from their families and transience during childhood reported by a sample of young adults formerly in care, and the influence they believed this had on their sense of security and later intimate relationships. The sample comprised 19 young adults aged 18-22 years who were interviewed about experiences associated both directly and indirectly with sexual health, during which childhood experiences of transience emerged as an issue. Findings indicated that disconnectedness and transience were experienced as distressing for participants, generating feelings of rejection and compromising their sense of trust in others. Feelings of insecurity and mistrust were reported by some to influence their adult relationships. We conclude that while not always possible, social care professionals should endeavour to support enduring relationships with trusted adults and continuity of carer among young people in care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-253
JournalAdoption & Fostering Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2017


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