The Effects of Homelessness in Children on Their Ability to be Successful in Their Adult Life
Much research has been done in the past two decades analyzing homelessness among children, as well as homeless women expecting children. These studies show that there are many factors of homelessness that affect children ranging from the earliest stages of development to their later teen years into adulthood. This study will focus on the direct effects being a child without a home might have on the ability of those children to be successful in their adult lives.
When considering reasons for developmental delays in skills among homeless children, there are many areas that ...view middle of the document...
747-748). However, findings in the article by Molnar et al. contradicted Douglas’s claim that children subject to homelessness are less likely to be willing to try new things. In fact, Molnar et al. stated that “homeless children were less afraid of new things” (1990, p.114).
In another study that looked at children who were not homeless, but rather were residing in foster care, studied the likelihood that these children would become homeless once they aged out of the foster care they were currently in (Dworsky & Courtney, 2009). Dworsky and Courtney examined groups of young people in their late teens from three Midwestern states that were nearing the age in which they would have to leave the foster homes they were in. They interviewed these teens both before and after leaving the foster care. There results were as followed: more than half the children had experienced homelessness more than once since leaving and 21% experienced homelessness that lasted more than one month (Dworsky & Courtney, 2009, p.32). They also found that delinquent behavior among teens increased their odds of becoming homeless 20%, but having social support with an adult reduced their odds of becoming homeless by 40%, and having a very close relationship to a family member reduced their odds of becoming homeless by 68%. However, if the teens were subject to physical abuse before they entered foster care, their odds of becoming homeless post foster care increased three times as much than if they were not abused physically before they entered foster care (Dworsky & Courtney, 2009, p.46).
Similar to the findings in the study ran by Dworsky and Courtney, Herman, Susser, Struning, and Link found a relationship in physical abuse and the risk of adult homelessness; in addition to sexual abuse and lack of parental care/supervision (1997, p.249). Buckner highlighted the risk of being a homeless child on the possibility of gaining mental health issues, health issues in general, being slower than normal to develop basic skills, and lower academic achievement (2008, p. 721). In addition to Buckner, Herman et al. reported about how homelessness as a child could increase the likelihood the child might suffer from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as an adult (1997, p. 252).
Unfortunately, the effects of homelessness on children prove to be somewhat detrimental to their growth as an adult. After looking over each of these five studies, it can be hypothesized that if children are subject to homelessness during their youth, their ability to be successful in their adult life without producing some sort of developmental delay in basic skills, decreases.
Sample: Data will consist of 300 homeless children ranging in age from 12-16 in two different cities: New York City and Philadelphia (150 from each city). As well as 300 children from the same age...