How Runaway and Homeless Youth Navigate Troubled Waters: The Role of Formal and Informal Helpers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth W. Lindsey, Professor Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Most adolescents navigate the transition from adolescence to young adulthood with relative success. However, runaway and homeless youth experience formidable obstacles in their paths and engage in dangerous behaviors that threaten their well being and long-term prospects. This study is part of a larger exploratory research effort aimed at understanding how runaway and homeless adolescents navigate the troubled waters of their adolescence to make successful developmental transitions into young adulthood. The focus of this paper is to report findings related to the formal and informal helping resources that enable runaway and homeless youth to resolve difficulties, deal with hazards, and achieve some level of self-defined success in young adulthood. This study utilized a qualitative research design, and the primary data collection method was in-depth interviews with 12 formerly run-away and homeless young people. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the data. Evidence emerged regarding who provided help, the types of help provided, conditions that facilitated acceptance of help, and advice to helping professionals. The findings illustrate the experiences youth had with helpers that they found valuable and experiences they perceived as detrimental.

Additional Information

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Language: English
Date: 2000
Runaway and Homeless Youth, Qualitative Research, Help Seeking, Successful Transitions

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