A1 Journal article (refereed)
Relationships of young adults with foster care backgrounds : tensions and management strategies (2021)

Tahkola, E., Metsäpelto, R., Ruohotie‐Lyhty, M., & Poikkeus, A. (2021). Relationships of young adults with foster care backgrounds : tensions and management strategies. Child and Family Social Work, 26(3), 358-369. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12816

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Tahkola, Elli‐Maria; Metsäpelto, Riitta‐Leena; Ruohotie‐Lyhty, Maria; Poikkeus, Anna‐Maija

Journal or series: Child and Family Social Work

ISSN: 1356-7500

eISSN: 1365-2206

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 08/12/2020

Volume: 26

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 358-369

Publisher: Wiley

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12816

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73214


The present study focuses on experiences of relational tensions and management strategies in family relationships among 18 young adults with foster care backgrounds who participated in interviews. In the analysis drawing from relational dialectics, three main tensions were revealed in the participants' relationships with birth and foster family members or in their romantic relationships: the dialectics of emotional distance‐closeness, integration‐separation and sameness‐otherness. In addition, the tension of the childhood dialectic of responsibility was identified in this study. The tensions were managed utilizing eight strategies. The findings highlight the importance of giving a voice to young adults who have experienced the complex web of relationships in at least two families and of sensitizing both birth and foster parents and other adults working with foster children and youth to these tensions in relationships.

Keywords: young adults; human relations; family relations; family background; foster care; dialectics

Free keywords: close relationship; foster care; management strategy; relational dialectics; tension; young adult

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:14