Archive | Research Summaries
The following Summaries and Links to Published Research are made available as a public service to advance regional understanding about youth homelessness. Our Children LA did not author of any of the listed articles and makes no warranties or representations regarding their content. Any questions about the content of the articles should be addressed to the authors.
Research articles are organized by research topic, subtopic and date.
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De Rosa CJ, Montgomery SB, Kipke MD, Iverson E, Ma JL, Unger JB.
Search Terms: homeless youths, service patterns, drop-in centers, service utilization, runaway youth, Los Angeles
Summary: This article describes service utilization patterns of homeless and runaway youth in a “service-rich” area of Los Angeles, California; identify demographic and other correlates of utilization; and contextualize the findings with qualitative data. Because shelters and drop-in centers act as gateways to other services and offer intervention potential for these hard-to-reach youth, it is vital that we understand the perceived barriers to service utilization
Jennifer Feldmann, MD and, Amy B. Middleman, MD, MPH, MSED
Search Terms: homeless youths, physical problems, psychological problems, sexually transmitted infections
Summary: Homeless youth are at alarmingly high risk for a myriad of physical and psychological problems as a result of both the circumstances that predated their homelessness, and as a direct consequence of life on the streets. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, trauma, tuberculosis, uncontrolled asthma, and dermatologic infestations are a few of the health problems with which these youth commonly present. Providers need to be the voices advocating for improved services for this disadvantaged and silent population.
David P Kennedy, Ryan A Brown, Penelope Morrison, Loryana Vie, Gery W Ryan and Joan S Tucker
Search Terms: Condoms, Homeless youth, Heterosexual sex, HIV, Reproductive health, Qualitative methods
Summary: Homeless youth are at higher risk for sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy than non-homeless youth. However, little is known about how they evaluate risk within the context of their sexual relationships. It is important to understand homeless youths’ condom use decisions in light of their sexual relationships because condom use decisions are influenced by relationship dynamics in addition to individual attitudes and event circumstances. It is also important to understand how relationship level factors, sexual event circumstances, and individual characteristics compare and intersect. To explore these issues, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 37 homeless youth in Los Angeles County in 2011 concerning their recent sexual relationships and analyzed the data using systematic methods of team-based qualitative data analysis.
Allison J. Ober, Steven C. Martino, Brett Ewing, and Joan S. Tucker
Search Terms: homeless youth, los angeles, hiv, risk, sexually active youth
Summary: Homeless youth are at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), yet those at greatest risk may never have been tested for HIV or STI. In a probability sample of sexually active homeless youth in Los Angeles (n = 305), this study identifies factors associated with HIV/STI testing status. Most youth (85%) had never been tested and 47% had been tested in the past 3 months.
Nyamathi, A., Branson, C., Kennedy, B., Salem, B., Khalilifard, F., Marfisee, M., Getzoff, D. and Leake, B.
Search Terms: homeless youth, adolescents, substance abuse, drug and alcohol use
Summary: Alcohol use, and in particular, binge drinking, and methamphetamine use is pervasive among homeless youth and remains a social pressure among this vulnerable population. However, there is no compelling evidence that specific intervention for reducing drug and alcohol use are effective for homeless youth. This community based participatory action pilot study assessed the impact of an intervention study focused on decreasing the use of drugs and alcohol among a sample of homeless youth (N=154) visiting a drop-in site in Santa Monica, California.
JD Klein, AH Woods, KM Wilson, M Prospero, J Greene and C Ringwalt
Search Terms: homeless youths, health systems, emergency care, street youth
Summary: This article describes the use of health services and self-reported access to regular and emergency care by homeless adolescents and street youth. Finding include significant numbers of homeless youth did not have a regular source of health care. Those who had a regular source of care were more likely to have continuity between routine and emergency care. Integration of health services with other agencies serving youth in shelters or on the street may improve access to care for those without a routine source of care and provide better continuity for these high-risk youth.
Search terms: housing, human rights, los angeles, policy
Summary: Housing affordability, stability, and quality are social determinants of health. This article expands on why the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights codified housing as a human right and explores how the absence of affordable, secure quality housing increased inequality and health disparities in Los Angeles County.
Susana R. Curry and Laura S. Abrams
Search Terms: homeless shelters; young adults; foster home care; employment & education; photography, transition-aged youth
Summary: Although research has established a high risk of homelessness among young people aging out of foster care, little is known about the experience of these youth who are helped to make the transition to independence living though supportive housing programs. Curry and Abrams (UCLA) interview 14 transition-aged youth (18-24 years) using photo elicitation interviews to investigate how young people who have aged out of foster care visually and verbally narrate their journeys through transitional housing programs. Study findings illustrate how transition-age youth experience their gradual independence and the ways in which transitional housing programs can provide critical support during this important period.
Search Terms: policy, children, poverty, poor, national, racial disparities, SNAP, subsidies, child tax credit
Summary: More than 14.7 million children in America were poor in 2013, with more than two-thirds in working families. A disproportionate number are Black and Latino. Poor children often lag behind their peers in many ways beyond income. This report shows how we can shrink overall child poverty by 60 percent, Black child poverty by 72 percent, rural child poverty by 68 percent, and improve the economic circumstances of 97 percent of poor children simply by investing more in programs that work like the EITC, SNAP, housing subsidies, subsidized jobs, the Child Tax Credit, child care subsidies and others.
Gonzalo Fanjul, UNICEF, Rick Boychuck
Search Terms: poverty, great recession, national, innocenti
Summary: As the data in this new edition of the Innocenti Report Card series show, in the past five years, rising numbers of children and their families have experienced difficulty in satisfying their most basic material and educational needs. Most importantly, the Great Recession is about to trap a generation of educated and capable youth in a limbo of unmet expectations and lasting vulnerability. League Tables, the flagship tool of the Innocenti Report Card series, rank the change, since the onset of the crisis, in the poverty levels of children and the impact of the recession on youth. The Report also explores the effects of the recession on youth seeking to enter or remain in the labor force in the middle of a recession.