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Mental Health of Homeless Youth: Moderation by Peer Victimization and Teacher Support

Abstract

The link between youth homelessness and mental health functioning was examined using state population-representative 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data. The moderating role of victimization and perceived teacher support also was examined. Consistent with hypotheses, results indicated that homelessness was associated with greater mental health challenges, more victimization, and less teacher support. The association between homelessness and mental health was not moderated by perceived teacher support. However, victimization experiences served as a moderator such that more victimization exacerbated the effect of homelessness on mental health challenges. This study supports the utility of the YRBS for gaining understanding of the experiences and needs of youth experiencing homelessness and adds to the growing literature on predictors of individual differences in mental health functioning of these vulnerable youth.

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Correspondence to Mary E. Haskett.

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Armstrong, J.M., Owens, C.R. & Haskett, M.E. Mental Health of Homeless Youth: Moderation by Peer Victimization and Teacher Support. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 49, 681–687 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-018-0790-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-018-0790-z

Keywords

  • Youth homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Teacher support
  • Peer victimization
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey