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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Promoting Healthy Attitudes and Behaviors in Youth Who Experience Homelessness: Results of a Longitudinal Intervention Study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 70(6), 942-949.

Rew, L., Slesnkick, N., Johnson, K., & Sales, A.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new

"Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a brief intervention to promote responsible substance use and safe sex behaviors in youths experiencing homelessness (YEH).
Methods (DESIGN): A Solomon four-group (double randomized controlled trial) longitudinal design with repeated measures (3- and 6-month follow-ups) was used in drop-in centers for YEH in Austin, Texas and Columbus, Ohio from which 602 youths, 18-24 years-old (M = 21 ± 1.8), 50% white; 69.9% heterosexual were recruited. A manualized one-on-one intervention consisted of six modules delivered via laptop computers. Modules focused on communication, goal-setting, substance use refusal, safe sex behaviors, enhanced psychological capital (hope, optimism, resilience, self-efficacy, gratitude), and life satisfaction. Valid and reliable measures of hope, optimism, future time perspective, resilience, social connectedness, gratitude, condom intention, self-efficacy for safe sex, safe sex behaviors, self-efficacy for substance use refusal, and life satisfaction were used to collect data for which three hypotheses were tested, using intent to treat, with multi-level modeling (R).
Results: The analysis showed partial support for all hypotheses: (1) post-test outcomes were greater than pretests; (2) intervention group outcomes were greater than control group measures; and (3) significant effects for pretesting. YEH in Ohio completed significantly more sessions than YEH in Texas (p = .001), but took significantly longer to complete all six sessions (p = .001).
Discussion: This brief intervention had significant effects on YEH to promote healthy attitudes and behaviors that merit further testing in larger samples."