More Than a Place to Sleep: Understanding the Health and Well-Being of Homeless High School Students

Paper/Research Report
Published: March, 2017
Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness

This report from the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH) presents the findings from an analysis of the differences in risk behaviors and health outcomes between homeless high school students and their housed classmates in New York City public and charter schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided access to anonymous self-reported data for the sample of high school students who participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in 2015. YRBS includes questions that distinguish between homeless and housed students. ICPH found that while only 12 percent of the YBRS sample was homeless, these students represent a third or more of all students facing a range of health risks. The report presents key findings of the disparity in physical, emotional, and mental health outcomes for homeless students compared with their housed peers and discusses policy considerations to ameliorate this disproportionate burden, such as leveraging existing programs, linking health records to school data, and keeping health outcomes part of the narrative. The report provides a glossary of terms and the YRBS survey questions.

Report available for free download on the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness website at:
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