Mental Health of Homeless Youth: Moderation by Peer Victimization and Teacher Support

Armstrong, J.M.
Owens, C.R.
Haskett, M.E.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Volume: 49

Issue: 5

This journal article looks at the link between youth homelessness and mental health functioning and the possible moderating role of peer victimization and perceived teacher support. From the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the study uses data from a sample size of 5,126 high school students in North Carolina. Findings show that homelessness was associated with more mental health challenges and victimization and less teacher support. The association between homelessness and mental health was not moderated by perceived teacher support. However, victimization experiences served as a moderator such that more victimization exacerbated the effect of homelessness on mental health challenges. This study supports the utility of the YRBS for gaining understanding of the experiences and needs of youth experiencing homelessness and adds to the growing literature on predictors of individual differences in mental health functioning of these vulnerable youth. (author abstract modified)

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