National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

"The Walls Were Closing In, and We Were Trapped" A Qualitative Analysis of Street Youth Suicide

Kidd, S. A.
Year Published: 2004
Journal Article
Sage Publications
Youth & Society, Volume 36(1):30-55, September 2004
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

The author of this article conducted semi-structured interviews focusing on suicide with 80 street youth in agencies and on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Participants described their understandings of the phenomenon of suicide among street youth and the meanings suicide held for them. Qualitative analysis of the interviews revealed themes of worthlessness, loneliness, hopelessness, and most centrally the feeling of being "trapped" as forming the construct of suicide held by the participants. These idioms of distress were situated within the context of a street life that included social stigma and drug abuse. Modified Author Abstract.

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