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Youth mental health is a global concern, with international evidence of increasing adolescent psychopathology. Researching ways to support young people’s mental health and well-being is an essential responsibility of social workers. Family connectedness is a key factor for youth well-being, but there is little detail about how young people experience it. This article contributes qualitative insights into young people’s experiences of family connectedness that will support social work practice with families. Interviews were conducted with thirty-one young people—aged fifteen and sixteen years—from Canberra, Australia. Young people highlighted the need to be engaged in family life, how common factors could help family members connect and their need to feel valued. The role of connections formed prior to adolescence and the way these connections changed as young people aged were also evident. Recommendations are made for social workers to support young people by building and maintaining family connectedness throughout adolescence. Thematic network maps, which capture young people’s perspectives, are provided to support assessment, intervention and education on family connectedness.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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