Risk and Resilience: Differences in Risk Factors and Health Outcomes Between Homeless and Non-Homeless Students in 2017 YRBS Data
This report from SchoolHouse Connection presents a study that used 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data from 17 states. Starting in 2017, YRBS included two questions related to homelessness for the first time since its inception in 1990 by the CDC. The researchers compared seven self-reported risk factors and health outcomes of high school students experiencing homelessness with their housed peers. The findings indicate youth experiencing homelessness have poorer health outcomes and exhibit higher risk behaviors. For instance, homeless youth are more likely to experience dating violence, misuse prescription pain medication, and attempt suicide. This report also includes qualitative data from interviews with 49 young people who participated in the SchoolHouse Connection’s Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program and the National Network for Youth’s National Youth Advisory Council. The researchers outline policies and practices to help school systems improve their implementation of the protections and supports provided to homeless children and youth by federal law.