AbstractsSocial Work

Youth homelessness: exploring support networks

by Martha Helen Gonzales

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: Homeless youth; Transition-age youth; Support networks; Social services; Social service provider
Record ID: 2063453
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/139508


This research explored the effects of social support networks on the well-being of transition-age homeless youth. The data is drawn from a qualitative study that explored the attitudes and experience of transition-age homeless youth in the greater Sacramento areas. A criterion sample of 10 transition-age homeless youth comprised of ages 18 to 24. This content analysis study incorporated in-depth interviews with open-ended questions regarding participants??? support networks. Demographic data, such as gender, ethnicity, and age, was also collected. The main themes of support found were from: peers, family, and social service providers. Network size, group members, and relationship strength influenced support provided to the respondents. Significant others and their peers were found to provide more emotional and tangible support than participants??? family. Perceptions of social service providers varied, though three participants perceived them as a primary support network. Implications for social work practice and policy are discussed.