At-risk youths' self-sufficiency: The role of social capital and help-seeking orientation

Loïs Schenk*, Miranda Sentse, Margriet Lenkens, Godfried Engbersen, Dike van de Mheen, Gera E. Nagelhout, Sabine Severiens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Youths' help-seeking orientation on the individual level, and the presence of bonding and bridging social capital at the contextual level, are important factors in explaining at-risk urban youths' self-sufficiency. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 at-risk youths aged 15–25 years in an urban area, to study youths' perceptions of help-seeking and social capital. Consequently, we attempted to uncover the associations between these concepts. The results indicate that only few youths had positive help-seeking orientations, irrespective of their preference for self-reliance. Sources of help that youths feel comfortable to activate in their immediate environment are limited, but support is also found in extended family members. Bridging social capital is mainly provided by professionals and comprises instrumental and informational support. Many youths believe they can be understood only by individuals who are similar to them, but simultaneously indicate a need for additional support from significant others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Erasmus University Rotterdam by means of a 'Research Excellence Initiative' grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

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