Youth Homelessness: The Impact of Supportive Relationships on Recovery
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Background Homeless youth are the fastest growing sub-group within the homeless population. They face impaired access to health services and are often left unsupported. They lack social and family support or relationships with service providers. Unsupported homeless youth often become homeless adults. Purpose To test a model based on Peplau's Theory of Interpersonal Relations, examining the influence of a network of service providers, perceptions of social supports, and family relations on a homeless youth's perceptions of recovery. Methods This study is a secondary analysis and used a sample (n = 187) of data collected as part of the original Youth Matters in London study. A cross-sectional design was used to analyze the relationship between variables. Participants were interviewed at 6-month intervals over a 2.5-year period. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used. Results Network of service providers, perceived social supports, and perceived family relations explained 21.8% of the variance in homeless youth perceptions of recovery. Perceived social support and family relations were significantly, positively correlated to perceptions of recovery. Network of service providers was not significantly correlated to perceptions of recovery. Conclusions The findings suggest that stronger social supports and family relations may contribute to increased perceptions of recovery among homeless youth.
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