ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Research Article

Family-Related Experiences of Youths Under Institutional Care with a History of Substance Use*


Department of Psychology, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, Ankara 06800 Turkey


Department of Psychology, Bahçeşehir University, Beşiktaş, İstanbul 34353 Turkey

Addicta 2019; 6: 963-986
DOI: 10.15805/addicta.2019.6.3.0039
Read: 350 Downloads: 302 Published: 01 October 2019

This study aims to investigate the family-related experiences of youths under institutional care and receiving treatment for substance use. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 participants between 15 and 18 years old. Thematic analysis has been employed in analyzing the interviews. Three main themes have been identified: lack of containment in the family, family’s structural characteristics, and the family’s role in the rehabilitation process. The findings indicate experiences of rejection, conditional acceptance, neglect, and abuse to be the issues prevalent in the participants’ narratives. Participants also described a family structure where at least one parent (mainly the mother) is absent. Moreover, newly constructed families and extended family networks were determined to have failed to support these young people. In regard to the treatment process, family is one of the most supportive elements for participants who have contact with their families. Participants without any family contact seemed to replace the absence of their families by establishing relationships with employees from the institutions. Finally, the interviews suggest that, despite all their traumatic experiences, participants have unconditional acceptance toward their family members. The study’s implications for prevention and intervention programs targeting disadvantaged youth are also discussed.

To cite this article: Şengünler, Ç., & Tanyaş, B. (2019). Family-related experiences of youths under ınstitutional care with a history of substance use. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions 6, 963−986.

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305