Peer interactions in residential youth care: A validation study of the Peer Interactions in Residential Youth Care (PIRY) Questionnaire

J. Sonderman*, F. F. van der Bekkens, G. H. P. van der Helm, C. H. Z. Kuipers, G. J. J. M. Stams, H. van de Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Interactions among peers in residential youth care are an important dynamic factor affecting behavioral adjustment and treatment success. Assessment and monitoring of the quality of peer interactions are potentially important for promoting a positive peer culture at the living group, contributing to a positive social climate. However, currently, there are no measures available to assess peer interactions in residential youth care. The present study describes the development, construct validity, and reliability of the Peer Interactions in Residential Youth Care questionnaire (PIRY) in a sample of 345 adolescents (age M = 15.45, SD = 1.59, 44.9% male) in the Netherlands. Confirmatory factor analysis of a two-factor model (peer support and acceptance, and relational aggression) showed a good fit to the data, and internal consistency reliabilities were good for both scales. Partial strict measurement invariance for gender was established, and no significant differences were found between boys and girls on latent factor means. The PIRY can be used in practice to assess and monitor both positive and negative peer interactions in residential youth care at the group level. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalResidential Treatment for Children & Youth
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • Peer interactions
  • group climate
  • group dynamics
  • relational aggression
  • residential youth care

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