Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educational experiences and goals of homeless youth and barriers to reaching these goals
by Peterson, Rachel, M.S., Utah State University, 2016, 65; 10130220
Abstract (Summary)

The cost of homelessness is high, not only in terms of the array of traumatic experiences of those who are homeless, but in monetary terms for society as a whole. It costs between $20,000 and $40,000 annually for one homeless individual to cycle through public service systems such as emergency rooms, jail, mental health care facilities, and shelters. This annual cost can add up quickly with long periods of homelessness. For half of homeless youth (age 14–24), homelessness will not end during adolescence. Lack of steady employment is one of the largest barriers for youth experiencing homelessness to become permanently self-sufficient. Examining the factors that contribute to the employability of these youth is critical to developing interventions. For many, education is the key to becoming self-sufficient and exiting homelessness. The unemployment rate is significantly lower for Americans who obtain a high school diploma. The unemployment rate declines further with increases in college education. The findings of this paper are a needs assessment of sorts, pointing to considerable gaps in educational services currently available to youth experiencing homeless, and invalidating the idea that homeless youth do not wish to attain high school, technical school, and college degrees. On the contrary, these youth have high educational aspirations, and while capable of succeeding in education, may require support beyond that of their housed peers because of the additional barriers they face. This desire to pursue education is an important consideration, and should inform the way we approach youth experiencing homelessness with educational services.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fargo, Jamison D.
Commitee: Innocenti, Mark S., Lockhart, Ginger
School: Utah State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Educational psychology
Keywords: Education, Educational goals, Homeless youth
Publication Number: 10130220
ISBN: 978-1-339-88067-9
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