Common Themes in the Life Stories of Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in High School: Implications for Educators

Mendez, L.M.R.,
Dickinson, S.,
Esposito, E.,
Connolly, J.,
Bonilla, L.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
Contemporary School Psychology
Volume: 22

Issue: 3

This journal article describes a study of the life stories of unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) who continued to attend high school despite no longer being in the custody of a parent or guardian. The study used a qualitative approach to allow participants to share their life stories in their own words. The researchers recruited nine students (five males, four females) ranging in age from 17 to 20 from a community-based organization serving homeless youth to participate in individual interviews. A thematic analysis revealed nine themes that reflected chaotic, impoverished, and abusive family environments in combination with individual and extrafamilial factors that helped to promote resilience among the participants. The authors discuss implications for supporting UHY in schools. (author abstract modified)

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