institutionalized adolescents were analysed beyond family relationships, considering, according to an ecological perspective, relationships with significant adults in school (teachers and school staff) as well as with adults from institution staff. this study aims to determine the contribution of relational variables in the prediction of social skills like assertiveness, empathy and self-control in 109 institutionalized adolescents (mage=16,19; sd=1,37). besides that we also intend to test the meditational role of peer relationship to predict social skills. structural equation modelling identified a model able to predict a indirect contribution of teachers and school staff in assertion and empathy, while peer relationship presents a direct effect on these variables. however we can’t confirm the mediator role of peer relationship in the association between quality of the relationship with teachers and school staff and development of social skills. furthermore we find a direct effect of quality of relationships with institution staff on self-control skills. institutionalized adolescents seem to be very sensitive to the quality of relationship with significant adults beyond family, perceiving different roles in adults from school and institutional context that permit development of different social skills.