Based on resilience and ecological perspective models, which emphasize the interaction between protective and promotive factors in youth and in their surroundings, this study explored the mechanism by which natural mentoring relationships and sense of belonging contribute to youths' life skills and hope. The participants comprised 213 adolescents in out-of-home placement placements in Israel (16–19 years old). Structural equation modelling revealed sense of belonging mediated the association between youths’ mentoring relationships and youths' resilience as manifested by their hope and current life skills. The discussion suggests considering these factors as an integral part of youth intervention programs in the context of residential care. Also discussed are the possible explanations for the mechanism linking youths' life skills, hope, and sense of belonging, in relation to which mentoring relationships operate. Implications for practice emphasize the importance of considering instrumental aspects as well as mental and motivational aspects to enhance youths' resilience in their transition to adulthood.
- At risk youth
- Out-of-home placements
- Residential care
- Sense of belonging, Transition to adulthood