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Write a 2 to 3 page paper responding to the following questions.
Use the articles primarily and external resources as appropriate to formulate your responses.
- • How are the needs of homeless youth similar to the needs of other homeless populations? In what ways are they different?
- • Discuss the relationship between foster care (and aging out of foster care) and becoming homeless.
- • Based on the readings, discuss which unique issues related to homeless youth are most worrisome and have the greatest potential for long-term impact?
Abstract This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study examining the relationship between homelessness and delinquency in adolescents. Researchers
collected data from interviews of 42 homeless youth contacted through a drop-in
center in San Jose, California. Participants responded to a structured interview as
well as two vignettes describing situations in which crimes were committed. The
most striking findings are that (1) reported rates of delinquency are higher than
expected based on past research, and (2) despite the high rates of delinquency,
answers to a ‘‘three wishes’’ question describe wishes and ideals that are largely
consistent with mainstream societal values. This paper provides a survey of existing
research on homeless youth and delinquency, a comparison of our findings to those
of previous studies, and two detailed case studies that highlight the patterns we
observed in the broader survey.
Keywords Homeless adolescents � Delinquency � Incarceration � Wishes
Previous studies have shown that homeless youth are disproportionately involved in
delinquent activity (Brennan et al. 1978; McCarthy and Hagan 1992; Whitbeck and
M. Schwartz � H. K. Sorensen Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Adolescent Health Van, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA,
S. Ammerman (&) Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital,
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Emergency Housing Consortium, San Jose, CA, USA
Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2008) 25:255–269
Hoyt 1999); however, little progress has been made toward understanding the
relationship between homelessness and delinquency among youth. The present
study on the relationship between homelessness and delinquency in adolescents
focuses on the lives and perspectives of a group of homeless teens in San Jose,
California. Based upon a review of the literature, it was expected that the homeless
youth interviewed would have high rates of delinquent activity when compared with
recent surveys of housed youth. Using the qualitative responses to a ‘‘three wishes’’
question and two vignettes describing crimes, our goal was to broaden our
understanding of the descriptive data provided by the participants and investigate
how homeless youth view themselves in relation to the broader mainstream culture.
As prior attempts to apply existing theoretical explanations for delinquency to the
homeless youth population have not quite fit the data provided by the population,
this exploratory study attempts to identify new directions for research that will bring
See readings attached.
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