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Can fatherhood be a turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth? Drozda, Christopher 2013

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Can fatherhood be a turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth?  by Christopher Drozda   MA, The University of Calgary, 2004  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK   in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (SOCIAL WORK)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   August 2013  ? CHRISTOPHER DROZDA, 2013  ii Abstract Although street-involved and homeless youth report pregnancy at higher rates than youth in school, there is almost no research on street-involved teen fathers. This study had two objectives. The first objective was to provide a description of the background and current situations of street-involved youth in Western Canada who were fathers compared to their street-involved peers without children. The second objective was to investigate if fatherhood could be a potential turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth. Research with adolescent street-involved mothers and adolescent fathers has shown that parenthood could reduce alcohol or drug use, increase connection to employment and connection to treatment. Overall the results did not support fatherhood as a potential turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth. Street-involved fathers were almost a year older and were street-involved at a younger age than non-fathers. Almost 20% of fathers reported their children lived with them. Fathers were more likely to report precarious housing, i.e., on the street or in a tent. Street-involved fathers were more likely to have been told they have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Street-involved fathers were less likely to be currently attending school. However, they were more likely to report working in a legal job than non-fathers or to obtain money from income assistance and from being a ward of the courts than non-fathers. Street-involved fathers reported a higher prevalence of recent illicit drug use compared to non-fathers for several drugs, including crystal meth, inhalants, and ketamine. However, street-involved fathers were also more likely to have accessed some form of substance abuse treatment, including detox and inpatient treatment centres.  iii Given their challenges, it was not surprising that street-involved fathers were more pessimistic about their future. They were significantly more likely than non-fathers to expect to be dead in five years.    Despite the lack of evidence for fatherhood as a turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth, this study provided descriptions of street-involved fathers? circumstances that social workers may face when engaging with these young men. Of particular note for further research are fathers whose children live with them.  There may be distinct needs for this group which could be addressed through development of services or changes in current programs for street-involved youth.    iv Preface  Research for this thesis is approved by the University of British Columbia Behavioral Ethics Board. UBC BREB # H11-02631.    v Table of Contents  Abstract .................................................................................................................................... ii	 ?Preface ..................................................................................................................................... iv	 ?Table of Contents .................................................................................................................... v	 ?List of Tables ......................................................................................................................... vii	 ?Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................... viii	 ?Chapter  1: Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1	 ?1.1	 ? Rationale .................................................................................................................. 1	 ?Chapter  2: Literature Review ............................................................................................... 3	 ?Chapter  3: Theoretical Framework ...................................................................................... 8	 ?3.1	 ? Research Questions ................................................................................................ 11	 ?Chapter  4: Research Design ............................................................................................... 14	 ?4.1	 ? Data Set .................................................................................................................. 15	 ?4.2	 ? Sample .................................................................................................................... 16	 ?4.3	 ? Measures ................................................................................................................ 16	 ?4.4	 ? Quantitative Analysis ............................................................................................. 20	 ?4.5	 ? Qualitative Analysis ............................................................................................... 21	 ?4.6	 ? Ethical Issues .......................................................................................................... 22	 ?Chapter  5: Results .............................................................................................................. 23	 ?5.1	 ? Identifying Street-involved Fathers ....................................................................... 23	 ?5.2	 ? Age and Sexual Orientation ................................................................................... 25	 ?5.3	 ? Where Children Live .............................................................................................. 25	 ? vi 5.4	 ? Ethnic Background ................................................................................................. 26	 ?5.5	 ? Experience on the Street ........................................................................................ 26	 ?5.6	 ? Alcohol and Drug Use ............................................................................................ 30	 ?5.7	 ? Connection to Treatment ........................................................................................ 31	 ?5.8	 ? Groups Within Fathers ........................................................................................... 34	 ?5.9	 ? Results of Qualitative Analysis .............................................................................. 36	 ?Chapter  6: Discussion ........................................................................................................ 44	 ?6.1	 ? Street-involved Fathers: Who are they? ................................................................. 44	 ?6.2	 ? Hypotheses Discussion .......................................................................................... 47	 ?6.3	 ? Is Fatherhood Meaningful for Street-involved Young Men? ................................. 51	 ?6.4	 ? Within-Fathers Comparisons ................................................................................. 51	 ?6.5	 ? Potential Turning-points Opportunities for Street-involved Fathers ..................... 53	 ?6.6	 ? Limitations ............................................................................................................. 54	 ?6.7	 ? Future Research ...................................................................................................... 55	 ?6.8	 ? Social Work Implications ....................................................................................... 56	 ? References???????????????????????????????..58  vii List of Tables  Table 5.1 Fathers and non-fathers ........................................................................................... 23	 ?Table 5.2 Where chid/ren live ................................................................................................. 25	 ?Table 5.3 Living circumstances .............................................................................................. 27	 ?Table 5.4 School and future anticipation ................................................................................ 29	 ?Table 5.5 Hard drug use in last 30 days .................................................................................. 31	 ?Table 5.6 Connection to treatment .......................................................................................... 31	 ?Table 5.7 General codes for open-ended items ....................................................................... 36	 ?Table 5.8 Responses ?What makes you happy?? ..................................................................... 37	 ?Table 5.9 Responses ?What do you like best about your life?? ............................................... 38	 ?Table 5.10 Open-ended code responses .................................................................................. 39	 ?Table 5.11 Recoded open-ended responses ............................................................................ 40	 ?Table 5.12 Open-ended codes of non-fathers responses ......................................................... 42	 ?Table 5.13 Fathers responses about children .......................................................................... 42	 ?   viii Acknowledgements  I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Sheila Marshall, for her feedback and great patience in the writing of this thesis. I also would like to thank my committee members Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc and Dr. Grant Charles for their help and assistance in this process.   I would like to acknowledge the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Grant #HOA-80059) for partial support & the McCreary Centre Society for access to their data to make this thesis possible.      1 Chapter  1: Introduction Research has shown that in British Columbia street-involved youth have higher rates of pregnancy than youth in school (Smith et al., 2007). Some of those street-involved youth who are involved in pregnancy become parents. There is little research on who street-involved adolescent parents are, their background and the situational circumstances of their lives. The research that does exist has focused on street-involved adolescent mothers (King, Ross, Bruno, & Erickson, 2009; Saewyc, 2003;). The research literature is sparse on who street-involved adolescent fathers are, their background, and the meaning of having children.  Understanding who street-involved fathers are and how they view having children is important because they may or may not require programs and interventions that differ from those offered to street-involved mothers and adolescent fathers who are not street-involved. To focus on street-involved fathers for this thesis a definition of fatherhood was needed. For this study the definition of fatherhood was self-identification of having children. Fatherhood, for this study, was not contingent on biological determination but a social construction of fatherhood. Thus for this thesis a broad notion of fatherhood was used.  1.1 Rationale  Street-involved youth have experiences and life events similar to other youth but these may be experienced earlier and situated differently within their life course (Hagan & McCarthy, 2005). Street-involved adolescent fathers may share similar experiences with other adolescent fathers who are not street-involved, but how street-involved adolescents experience fatherhood may be different within their time and place. Adolescent fatherhood research in North America has not focused on street-involved adolescent fathers. For this thesis no research was found that described who street-involved fathers are, their historical  2 background, individual characteristics or situational circumstances of their lives. We do not know if street-involved adolescent fathers are similar or different from other adolescent fathers who are not street-involved.  Little is also known if fatherhood could be a turning-point opportunity for street-involved adolescents. Research with street-involved North American adolescents reports mothers lowering their alcohol and drug use, attending school and wanting to exit a street-involved lifestyle (King et al., 2009; Saewyc, 2003;). The importance of having children may serve as a desire for life change or a turning-point opportunity for some street-involved mothers. There is some research with adolescent fathers who are not street-involved supporting having children as an opportunity for change. Adolescent fathers who are not street-involved in the United Kingdom reported making a choice to ?calm down? by reducing drug use and many were excited and positive about their children or the possibility of having children (Quinton et al., 2002; Tyrer et al., 2005).  Research is needed to describe who street-involved adolescent fathers are and if fatherhood is a turning-point opportunity. One direction to explore having children as a turning-point is to compare street-involved adolescent fathers with street-involved adolescents who are not fathers but share the same challenging street life. The purpose of this thesis was two-fold. First, to describe who western Canadian street-involved adolescent fathers are. Second, this thesis examined if fatherhood was a turning-point opportunity for some adolescent street-youth.   3 Chapter  2: Literature Review Understanding rates of pregnancy among homeless and street-involved youth is important because some of these pregnancies may lead to fatherhood. The rate of pregnancy among homeless and runaway youth varies among research studies. Greene and Ringwalt (1998) in a sample drawn from across ten cities in the United States found that street-involved youth had the highest rate of pregnancy when compared to youth in shelters and youth living at home. Thompson et al. (2008) compared runaway and homeless female adolescents from a national data set of participating shelter agencies across the United States and found 20% of homeless adolescents become pregnant. Haley et al. (2004) from a sample of 225 street-involved females in Montreal found 41% had ever been pregnant. Further, King et al. (2009) reported on 75 female homeless youth in Toronto, of whom over half had been pregnant at least once and one third had children. Finally, within the context of British Columbia, Smith et al. (2007) found that 32% (N=762) of street-involved youth from nine rural and urban areas of British Columbia reported being ever pregnant. The high numbers of street-involved adolescents who are involved in pregnancy suggests that a number of these pregnancies may lead to fatherhood.   Involvement with pregnancy is associated with a number of negative factors for the lives of street-involved youth. Haley et al. (2004) found ever been pregnant female adolescents to be more likely to have been kicked out of their home, on the street at a younger age, experienced sexual abuse, and had more substance abuse problems than female street youth not involved in pregnancy. Halc?n and Lifson (2004) in a convenience sample of street-involved youth aged 15-22 indicated that 53% of females (n=82) had been pregnant at  4 least once and pregnancy was associated with higher alcohol and substance use, more sexual intercourse activity, less frequent condom use, and survival sex.  No research specifically investigating street-involved adolescent fathers could be found for this literature review. However, there is research literature focused on adolescent fathers who are not street-involved that reveal a number of challenges in their lives. Adolescent fathers in the United Kingdom tend to be involved in substance abuse, involved in crime, have experienced violence in their family, and have a much lower achievement in school than adolescent males who are not fathers (Berrington et al., 2005; Bunting & McAuley, 2004;). Weinman et al. (2002) found in their sample of 128 adolescent fathers who entered a parent program in a city in the United States, that fathers were often unemployed, had left school, had substance abuse problems and many had committed a felony.  Despite the potential challenges, adolescent fathers who are not street-involved do seek assistance but face barriers. Quinton et al. (2002) found in their United Kingdom study that teenage fathers who wanted to be involved in the pregnancy felt marginalized and uncomfortable by the health and social services by being ignored, scolded, and made to feel unimportant by health professionals. Taucher (1991) found in the United States that not only are expectant teen fathers made to feel unwelcome but are perceived to be inadequate for parenting by health professionals.  In the United States, the barriers faced by some adolescent fathers who seek assistance may perpetuate the unpreparedness for fatherhood because some fathers may lack emotional and cognitive resources for this life transition (Guterman & Lee, 2005). In the United Kingdom research points to a range of considerations when assisting adolescent fathers. Ferguson and Hogan (2004) found when working with young fathers in the United  5 Kingdom there was a need to address the difficulties in transitioning into an adult fatherhood role and account for variation in adolescent fathers? development. To prevent adolescent fatherhood unpreparedness, inclusion and education could be critical for the fathers? lifetime involvement in their children?s lives (Quinton et al., 2002; Negura & Desclauries, 2009; Tyrer et al., 2005). Possible connection to resources could be critical to involvement in pregnancy and have a possible positive effect on behaviours of adolescent fathers in the United Kingdom, often leading to lower crime, lower substance abuse and increased resilience (Quinton et al., 2002).  There are specific services to help adolescent fathers and there are some general themes to how these interventions are developed. Father-specific services for adolescents generally focus on elements of employment, gaining a general diploma, and parenting programs (Lane & Clay, 2000; Romo et al., 2004; Weinman et al., 2002;). For many programs in the United States a focus on employment and employment skill-building was essential to gain interest of the young adolescent fathers who enroll in these services (Lane & Clay, 2000; Weinman et al., 2002). Weinman et al. (2002) in their evaluation of a father program in the United States found disconnection between services requested and services needed by some fathers to be successful. Many fathers indicated that they did not want substance abuse assistance or child support assistance and generally did not want to enroll in school courses that would lead to a general diploma. The focus for some of the fathers enrolled in the program was on immediate employment assistance as a way to improve their situation even if they exhibited other risk behaviours. This finding may reflect the importance of the economic provider role (Christiansen & Palkovitz, 2001) as well as potential developmental differences among adolescent fathers (Guterman & Lee, 2005).  6 Some research has found that the possibility of becoming a parent could have a positive effect on the life trajectory of street-involved youth. Some pregnant street-involved young women experienced a desire to change at-risk behaviours, such as lower substance use and increased involvement in school (Hanna, 2001; King et al., 2009; Saewyc, 1999, 2003). Additionally, pregnancy had a positive effect in how youth perceived they were treated by health providers because they were pregnant (Saewyc, 2003). Pregnancy could be perceived by the youth as influencing a number of areas that were both positive and ambiguous within the contexts of their lives (Saewyc, 1999). Saewyc (1999) found functions of pregnancy for homeless young mothers could fall into six categories: meeting affiliative needs, reconnecting with family, maturing or settling down, opportunities for a new life, access to services and stepping away from risk behaviors. For some homeless mothers meeting affiliative needs included pregnancy as a way to battle abandonment through having someone to care and love within their lives. Pregnancy provided an avenue to reconnect with family for some homeless mothers while settling down and taking time to change aspects of their lives served as another function. Others viewed pregnancy as a new opportunity in life that may facilitate going back to school or gain access to services, such as shelter access and welfare. Finally, for some homeless adolescent mothers pregnancy was an impetus to change current drug use and other risky behaviors such as self-harm. For some homeless mothers pregnancy could be a positive and at the same time ambiguously felt aspect in the context of their lives.   The experience of being a mother was seen as a challenging but sometimes positive and life changing event for young women (King et al., 2009; Saewyc, 2003;) possibly representing a transition out of street-life (Auerswald & Erye, 2002). Within the research  7 with homeless adolescent mothers Hanna (2001) and Saewyc (2003) reported on role of fathers within the homeless mothers? lives. Hanna (2001) noted that while fathers provided emotional support, they provided little financial support.  Some studies have pointed to the possibility of meaningful motherhood among street-involved adolescents as a potential opportunity for change reducing their alcohol and drug use and increasing a desire to attend school (Saewyc, 1999). Having children can be a potential turning-point for some street-involved mothers to change because of the importance placed on motherhood (King et al., 2009). It is not known if having children could be a turning-point opportunity for street-involved adolescent fathers as may be the case for homeless adolescent mothers. A comparison between street-involved adolescent fathers and street-involved adolescents who are not fathers could help establish if there is a potential opportunity for change. 8  Chapter  3: Theoretical Framework The first purpose of the thesis was to describe the background characteristics and the situational circumstances of street-involved adolescent fathers. The second purpose was to determine if having children could be a turning-point opportunity for some street-involved adolescent fathers. Several concepts and perspectives grounded the research questions for the thesis. Having children may be a potential transition for any adolescent young man, thus the life course perspective (Elder, 1998) and the concepts of transitions (Elder, 1998) and turning-points (Rutter, 1996) also informed the overall framework. The main thrust of the life course perspective is that life events or turning-points may characterize a potential positive or negative effect contextualized in time and place (Settersten, 1999).  The sociology of life course emphasizes how individuals are organized in society and the main thrust of this organization is through the production of social institutions that regulate human lives (Mayer, 2009). Life course perspectives help to understand patterns of certain life events such as school, employment and parenthood for youth. The timing of life events, such as school, employment and parenthood is also critical as they might occur ?early? ?on time? or ?late? depending on when the event occurs in an individual?s life course (Settersten, 2009). For some street-involved youth these normalized events and transitions may not conform to the ?standards? of other youth. Transitions into adulthood are usually fraught with turmoil because street-involved youth are situated in a context where they are forced to take on these transitions and events in different times and places than other youth of the same age (Hagan & McCarthy, 2005). Thus it is possible that street-involved youth may  9 share similar life events and transitions into adulthood with any other youth, but their experience of these changes are contextualized in the time and place unique to them.  The concepts of ?transition? and ?turning-points? are not new in youth research. Laub and Sampson?s (2003) longitudinal research with youth and crime reveal turning-points in the trajectory of crime effectively ?knifing off? past experiences to transition to new situations, such as marriage or employment with a level of support and monitoring to assist the youth in transition. Elder (1998) used ?events? and ?transitions? as concepts of change along a life trajectory demonstrating how change could occur both positively and negatively for young men entering the military. For some young men who were not married or just completing high school military service provided a positive experience into their transition to adulthood. However, for other young men who were married or were established in employment this life event represented a negative aspect in their lives (Elder, 1998). A transition is a gradual change within a life trajectory whereas an event is an abrupt change in life (Elder, 1998). For this study the emphasis was on understanding how an event, such as having children can be understood within the lives of street-involved adolescent boys. Of particular interest in this study was the concept of ?turning-point?. Having children can be a change or an event in the lives of youth. However, is there a possibility for this event to be a turning-point in their lives? Within the context of individual agency the event of having children as a turning-point may be along a continuum of positive and negative opportunities. Thus the ??key issue in almost all the examples of possible turning point effects is that the new experience has to have an opportunity to make a difference.? (Rutter, 1996, p. 612, emphasis in original). The concept of turning-points should be viewed as positive or negative opportunities for some street-involved boys. The concept of a turning- 10 point as an opportunity and solely as a turning-point opportunity was the focus of the study. It is important to highlight this direction because this study was testing differences in opportunities for turning-points between groups of youth and not intra-individual change. According to Rutter (1996) the concept ?turning-points? should incorporate two characteristics: ?The experiences involved in the mechanisms underlying turning point changes have two characteristics. First, the experiences are likely to involve some form of marked environmental or organismic discontinuity or changing quality and the direction of change must be of a type that is likely to influence development in a direction that is different from that before the turning point. Secondly, the experiences should be of a kind that carry the potential for persistence of effects over time.? (Rutter, 1996, p. 613-614). Street-involved adolescent fathers might have the opportunity to change within their environment by gaining employment, going to school or reducing drug and alcohol use. For this thesis, the concept of ?turning-points? focused on an opportunity for ?turning-points? because of dataset limitations. This study used cross-sectional data that does not allow direct investigation of ?turning-points? unfolding over time. However, by comparing groups of street-involved adolescents who face similar challenges indirect inferences can be made. For example, do street-involved adolescent fathers differ in participating in positive opportunities, such as attending school or being employed from street-involved youth who are not fathers?     11 3.1 Research Questions  Due to the lack of research describing who street-involved adolescent fathers are research questions focused on the background characteristics and situational circumstances faced by street-involved adolescent fathers in Western Canada. Following the life course perspective research questions were developed focused on whether having children was a turning-point opportunity for some street-involved adolescent fathers.  Research Question #1: What are the background characteristics and situational circumstances of Western Canadian street-involved adolescent fathers? The focus on this research question was to provide context to who street-involved fathers are by providing information such as historical background, living circumstances, and current individual characteristics to provide an overall picture. Research Question #2: Is fatherhood a potential turning-point opportunity for young adolescent street-involved youth? Having children could represent an opportunity for a turning-point represented by reducing alcohol and drug use and engagement in opportunities such as attending school or employment. The potential opportunity for a turning-point was based on research with homeless young mothers who desired change from a street-lifestyle (King et al., 2009) and the reduction of health risk behaviours among adolescent fathers (Quinton et al., 2002).  I expect that having children may be a potential turning-point in a youth?s life reflecting positive opportunities to move away from a street-involved lifestyle:   2.a Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to report attending school than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers.  12 2.b Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to be connected to employment than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. 2.c Street-involved adolescent fathers are less likely to engage in alcohol and drug use than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. 2.d Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to use treatment services, such as addictions treatment, than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. 2.e Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to report a positive future than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. An event that may represent a turning-point in a lifecourse needs to have the ability to make a difference (Rutter, 1996). Having children as a potential turning-point may be associated with positive opportunities, such as attending school and lower drug and alcohol as noted in the homeless youth mother research (King et al., 2009; Saewyc, 2003).  A caveat was needed for the question of street-involved fathers who may use treatment services. Weinman et al. (2002) noted some adolescent fathers who were not street-involved focused on gaining employment and not drug services, however, Quinton et al. (2002) reported a ?calming down? in all areas of adolescent fathers lives, including drug use. The research reports conflicting results on treatment service.  Research Question #3: Is fatherhood meaningful to street-involved young men?  Having children could be an important event in the lives of some street-involved adolescent males. Elder (1998) noted that the concept of an ?event? can be an abrupt change and be either positive or negative in the lives of individuals. It is how the individual attributes the meaning of the event, either positive or negative, that is crucial to whether the event is a ?turning-point? towards positive change. For having children to be a potential ?turning-point?  13 opportunity the street-involved adolescent fathers should associate this as a meaningful event in their lives. Some street and homeless mothers report a desire to reduce risk behaviours such as alcohol and drug use in the context of pregnancy and having children (King et al., 2009; Saewyc, 1999).   Research is needed to describe who street-involved adolescent fathers in Western Canada are. To determine if having children is a turning-point opportunity for street-involved adolescent fathers research questions have been generated from the literature. The lifecourse (Settersten, 1999) may have abrupt events, such as having children (Elder, 1998) that may represent a turning-point opportunity (Rutter, 1996) for some street-involved adolescent fathers. For having children to be a potential turning-point opportunity street-involved adolescent fathers should see this as an important and meaningful event. 14 Chapter  4: Research Design  The lack of research on street-involved adolescent fathers points to the need for an exploratory approach. Exploratory research approaches are used when literature is sparse in a particular subject area allowing for a more open line of investigation that can be both qualitative and quantitative in direction (Stebbins, 2001). The first objective was to describe the lives of street-involved adolescent fathers. The second objective of this study was to explore potential differences among street-involved adolescent fathers and street-involved adolescents who were not fathers. To explore the two objectives a mixed-methods research design was used with the 2006 Street Youth Health Survey (SYS) from the McCreary Centre Society, a non- profit research organization in British Columbia. The 2006 Street Youth Health Survey incorporates items that were open ended generating text data that can be qualitatively analyzed as well as numerical responses coded for quantitative analysis supporting a mix-methods research design.   Mixed methods incorporate a plethora of designs emphasizing a continuum of research approaches (Leech & Onwugbuzie, 2009; Creswell, 2009). Based on mixed methods typologies outlined by Creswell (2009) the mixed methods design for this study could be categorized as a concurrent triangulation strategy. The research design was a concurrent triangulation strategy because this study uses a dataset with survey items allowing both quantitative and qualitative approaches to analyze concurrently. Further, the dataset has both numerical and open-ended items supporting quantitative and qualitative approaches that corroborated and strengthen the validity of the findings (Creswell, 2009). In another mixed method typology, Leech and Onwugbuzie (2009) stated that mixed methods approaches can be partial or mixed in the quantitative/qualitative emphasis. Under Leech and Onwugbuzie?s  15 (2009) typology the mixed methods research design proposed for this study would be classified as a partially mixed concurrent dominant status design. For this study the dominant quantitative methods involve comparisons to determine potential statistic differences between street-involved adolescent fathers and those who are not fathers. The qualitative component was less dominant in the approach, but provides responses to open-ended questions to determine if children are meaningful for street-involved adolescent fathers. By using the two methods simultaneously in the dataset an overall picture of street-involved adolescent fathers was formed.  4.1 Data Set  The McCreary Centre Society, a non-profit community research organization in British Columbia, Canada, compiled the dataset that was used for this study. The 2006 Street Youth Health Survey (SYS) included street-involved youth ages 12-18 in 9 different communities, both urban and rural, across BC (N=762). Street-involved youth included youth who panhandled, were homeless, or in precarious housing, were selling or using drugs, and/or engaged in criminal activities in the last year. Precarious housing included ?couch surfing?, shelters, living in abandoned buildings, cars and on the streets. The overall sample also included youth who had ?homes? but spent most of their time on the streets. The 2006 Street Youth Health Survey was adapted from a school-based survey, the Adolescent Health Survey, a regional survey distributed among school districts in British Columbia. Community service staff members and youth who had previous street involvement were trained to be community researchers for recruitment and survey administration, to ensure positive rapport with the street youth. Surveys were administered during the day and early evening, but not late into the evening to minimize risk to researchers. The surveys were read aloud to the  16 youth to compensate for literacy problems. Some groups of street-involved youth were unavailable to be surveyed because of time and place restrictions. For example, youth who were incarcerated at the time of data collection were not reflected in the overall sample.  4.2 Sample  The sample consisted of two groups. The first group included street-involved young men who have children. Street-involved young men who have children answered ?yes? to the item ?do you have children?? (n=43). This group was identified as street-involved adolescent fathers. A comparison group included street-involved male youth who answered ?no? to ?do you have children??(n=314).  The focus of this thesis was not on street-involved young men who have been involved in pregnancy, but only those who identified as having children. The dataset used for this thesis can determine if there has ever been a pregnancy, but does not provide a context as to when this occurred. Thus, it was not possible to determine how long ago the involvement in pregnancy occurred. Also, I wanted to focus on the social construction of fatherhood and the interpretation of youth who indicate they have children. Involvement in pregnancy does not necessarily lead to fatherhood.  4.3 Measures Ethnic background.  Ethnic background was assessed using several items.  Ethnic background was not used to compare groups but for descriptive purposes only.  First, the item ?What is your background? (Mark all that apply)? was used to evaluate youths? ethnicity (categories include, Aboriginal, African, European, East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, West Asian, and other).  Aboriginal background was broken down further using the item ?Are you Aboriginal? (Mark one answer only)? (categories of ?No?, ?Yes, I  17 have First Nations status?, ?Yes I am Aboriginal, but I don?t have First Nations status?, Yes I am Metis?, ?Yes I am Inuit? and ?Other?.  Additional items asked ?Were you born in Canada?? and ?How long have you lived in Canada??.   Leaving community.  Youth were asked ?Why did you leave your home community??  The response categories were: ?I did not leave my home community,? ?To access services,? ?To be with someone,? ?For my safety,? ?For work or job prospects,? and ?Other.?  This item was included to provide historical context to youths? street-involvement. Finally the item ?Why are you hanging out on the streets? (Mark all that apply)? with response categories ranging from ?I ran away from home? to ?Avoiding criminal charges? also provided historical context to the lives of the street-involved youth.   Length of street involvement.  Two items were used to determine approximately how long the youth had been on the street. The first item, ?How old are you?? (categories for age range from 12 years old to 18 years old) was used with a second item ?How old were you when you first became street involved?? (item categories range from ?less than 9 years old? to ?17 or more years old?). The stated age of first street-involvement was subtracted from their current age to give an estimate of their length of street involvement.    Living circumstances.  A set of items was used to report youths? current housing. The item ?People can live in a lot of different places for short or long periods of time. Please tell us where you live now (yesterday), all the places in the past 12 months, and any place you?ve ever lived (Mark all that apply)? provided description of youths? living circumstances.  Only descriptions of living circumstances in the last 12 months were used in this study.  The range of responses to this item included categories such as house or apartment, foster home, squatting, on the street, and ?couch surfing?. For each category the  18 youth reported ?live here now,? ?Lived here in the past 30 days,? and ?Ever lived here.? The types of living circumstances were re-coded when comparing fathers with children living with them and fathers living separately from their children. ?House or apartment,? ?Hotel,? ?Parents home,? ?sister(s) or brother(s) home (step or adoptive),? ?other relative?s home (grandparents, aunt, etc),? foster home, ?group home? were combined into a ?relatively stable? variable. The categories, ?safe house, shelter,? ?transition house,? ?squat,? ?on the street,? ?abandoned building,? ?living nowhere,? ?living all over (couch surfing),? ?tent,? ?car? were grouped into another variable labeled ?precarious housing.? Child(ren)?s living circumstances.  Youth were asked, ?Who does your child/children currently live with (Mark all that apply)?. The response categories included ?I do not have children,? ?My children live with me,? ?My children live with relatives or friends,? ?My children live in a foster home,? and ?My children have been adopted by someone else.? This item was used to identify whether fathers were currently living with their children. Self-reported diagnosis.  Youth were asked to indicate if they have ever received a diagnosis.  The item stem was ?Have you been told by a health professional that you have any of the following (Mark yes or not for each one).? The response categories included ?A learning disability,? ?Epilepsy,? ?Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS/FAE),? ?Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD),? ?Schizophrenia,? ?Major depression or Bipolar Disorder,? ?Chronic Anxiety Disorder or Panic Attacks? and ?Alcohol/drug addiction.? School attendance.  School attendance was assessed as a positive indicator in the lives of street-involved male youth. The school attendance measures included ?Did you start school this year?? (Response choices were ?No,? ?Yes, regular school,? ?Yes alternate  19 school?) and ?Are you currently attending school?? (Response choices were ?No,? ?Yes regular school,? ?Yes alternate school?). Each item was used separately in analyses.  Employment.  Two items were used to assess street-involved young men?s connection to employment. The first item was ?During the past 30 days, how many hours a week did you work at a legal job?? The categories ranged on a four-point scale from ?I did not work? to ?20 hours or more.?  The second item was ?In the past 30 days, did you obtain money from any of the following resources?? The response categories of income sources were collapsed into ?no income,? ?legal employment,? ?family income,? ?government assistant,? ?street income? (busking and panhandling), ?sexual exploitation,? and ?illegal activities.?  Service use.  Two items about service use were used to indicate connection to treatment. Measures of service use helped address whether street-involved young men had ever used drug and detox services and whether male youth wanted to enter into a service treatment program. The items were ?Have you ever asked for alcohol or drug treatment services?? and ?Are you interested in receiving alcohol or drug treatment services??   Response categories were ?no? or ?yes? with the latter combined with inpatient and outpatient treatment descriptions.  Recent alcohol use.  Several items were used to measure different ways youth consumed alcohol including current alcohol use and binge drinking. Alcohol use was estimated with the following items: ?During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have at least one drink of alcohol?? ?During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row, that is within a couple of hours?? (For both items the youth responded on an 8-point scale ranging from ?I have never had a drink of alcohol  20 other than a few sips? to ?All 30 days?).  A third item, ?Yesterday how many drinks of alcohol did you have?? was also used.  The responses were on a 5-point scale ranging from ?I have never had a drink of alcohol other than a few sips? to ?5 or more drinks.?  Recent drug use. Items concerning recent drug use were used to determine the amount of use as well as type of drug used. Items included estimates of specific marijuana use: ?During the past 30 days, how many times did you use marijuana (pot, grass, hash, weed)?? (categorized on a 7-point scale ranging from ?I have never tried marijuana? to ?40 or more times?), ?Yesterday, how many times did you use marijuana (pot, grass, hash, weed)?? (categorized on a 5-point scale ranging from ?I have never tried marijuana? to ?10 or more times?). The items assessing the use of other drugs included ?hard? drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and crystal meth.  Response categories were ?used yesterday,? ?used in the past 30 days? and ?ever used.? The responses of ?used yesterday? and  ?used in the past 30 days? were collapsed into a single variable to increase accuracy of measurement. Future anticipation. An indicator of potentially moving away from street-entrenchment was whether youth have a positive outlook on their future. The item ?Where do you see yourself in 5 years?? included categories ?in a job,? ?in prison,? ?in school,? ?dead,? ?having a home of my own,? ?on the street,? ?having a family,? ?don?t know? and ?other.?  4.4 Quantitative Analysis  Descriptive statistics (including means, medium, and frequencies) and inferential statistics were performed based on the type of variables being tested. Pearson?s Chi Square was used for dichotomous variables (Yes/No) to test for differences between street-involved adolescent fathers and street-involved adolescents who were not fathers. T-tests were used for dependent variables with continuous options to determine if there were mean differences  21 between street-involved adolescent fathers and street-involved adolescents who were not fathers. 4.5 Qualitative Analysis  The Street Youth Health Survey asked open-ended questions about happiness and life context. The questions ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? were used to answer the research question ?Is fatherhood meaningful to street-involved young men?? Responses to the two open-ended questions, ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? were the data used for the qualitative analysis. Responses from street-involved adolescent fathers and street-involved adolescents who were not fathers were then compared. A summative context analysis approach (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) was used to focus on key terms and words that revealed potential positive connections in the everyday lives of street youth. The summative content analysis approach involves two aspects.  First, potential key words or phrases were counted in a quantifiable way that represents manifest content (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005). Second, interpretation based on these quantifiable counts of key words and phrases was used to understand potential latent content of the two open-ended questions (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005).  Quantifiable counts of key words and phrases was conducted for the two-opened questions ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? After establishing the manifest content, the words and phrases were interpreted to determine the underlying meaning of words and phrases representing underlying or latent content (Babbie, 1992). This was done by comparing similarities and difference in words and phrases until categories emerged.   Categories that emerged inductively were then checked to ensure they  22 were mutually exclusive and exhaustive. To ensure trustworthiness, a second coder checked the category membership against the data.   During the summative content analysis, the data were separated from the identification of the youths? fatherhood status.   4.6 Ethical Issues  The proposed study uses an anonymous secondary dataset and was devoid of identifying markers among the numerical items in the survey. The open-ended items in the survey were also devoid of identifying markers of the survey participants. The dataset has limited access and was only accessible by permission from the McCreary Centre Society. Further, only the output could be removed from the site and it contained only findings that cannot be traced to an individual. Finally, any findings reported in this thesis derived from the open-ended survey items were devoid of any identifying markers.   23 Chapter  5: Results The analysis compared street-involved youth who have children and street-involved youth who do not have children. The analysis addressed the research questions and hypotheses with chi-squares tests, Fisher?s exact tests, Cramer?s phi, T-tests and logistic regression techniques.  5.1 Identifying Street-involved Fathers The focus of the study was street-involved youth who identified as fathers. This group of youth was compared to street-involved youth who did not identify as fathers. Fatherhood was socially constructed and how some youth in this study self-identify as fathers reflected a social construction. The youths? understanding of fatherhood was assessed through different items in the survey.  For this study street-involved youth who answered yes to the question ?Do you have children?? were designated as the street-involved father group.  As noted in table 5.1 close to 12 percent (11.9%) of the street-involved youth responded affirmatively to the item ?Do you have children??. Table 5.1 Fathers and non-fathers    Based on the survey item ?Do you have children?? 43 youth declared being fathers. However, after further exploration five cases were excluded for a total of 38 fathers. The item ?Do you have children?? was followed by another item ?Who does your child/children currently live with?? (Mark all that apply). One of the options for this item was ?I have no children?. A crosstabs was conducted on the items ?Do you have children? and ?Who does your child/ren live with??. Five cases were found to answer ?yes? to ?Do you have children?? and to check Street-involved Youth All males Fathers Non Fathers N 367 n=43 n=314 Fathers vs. non-fathers (based on children yes/no) - 11.9% 85.6% Fathers vs. non-fathers (based on children yes/no and where children live)  n=38 n=314  24 ?I do not have children? in response to ?Who does your child/ren live with??. Because it was difficult to know why this has occurred the five cases were excluded from the group of youth classified as street-involved fathers. The exclusion of the five cases made the total number of fathers in the analysis to 38.  The reasons as to why some youth who indicated having children in the first item (Do you have children?) but not in the following item may be due to the structure and order of the questions asked.  Street-involved youth who answered the item ?Who does your child/ren live with?? could mark all that apply based on choice such as ?I do not have children? and ?My children are adopted.? However, there is no category for ?I do not know where my children are?. A quick analysis of the five cases in question revealed one father who declared fatherhood based on a response of yes to ?I do have children? and ?no I do not have children? in the following item also reported ?What makes you happy?? in an open-ended question with ?being with my kids and family?. This particular case might be an example of the complexity of street-involved youths? declaration of fatherhood. For this thesis the struggle to identify fathers in the sample focused on the one question of ?Do you have children?? because this was the most straightforward question in the survey. Conversely, there were also cases (n=9) of street-involved youth who answered ?no? to ?Do you have children?? but also checked various options on ?Who do your child/ren currently live with?? Again, the findings may highlight the social construction of fatherhood. For these nine cases who reported ?no? to ?Do you have children?? but reported where their child/ren lived may be the distinction between ?having children? and ?had children?. Perhaps for some street-involved youth their children were no longer in their life because they were for example adopted or with relatives, and thus no longer claim fatherhood. The nine cases were coded into the street-involved non-fathers group.   25 5.2 Age and Sexual Orientation  The age of all street-involved youth in the survey ranged from 12 to 18 years of age. Ages for the street-involved fathers ranged from 14 years of age to 18 years of age. The average age of street-involved youth who were not fathers was 16.36 years of age and average age of street-involved fathers was 17.37 years of age. Street-involved youth who were fathers were a full year older than street-involved youth who were not fathers (t(56.02)=-5.15, p=.002; Cohen?s D=.769). In the reported frequencies of the street-involved youth who were fathers, 79.1% were 17 or 18 years of age. Due to the small cell sizes, frequencies and percentages were not reported to protect fathers from potentially being identified.   Participants were provided with the following response categories for their sexual orientation: heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, gay or bisexual and not sure. There were no statistically significant differences between fathers and non-fathers. The majority of youth identified as heterosexual, 76.4% for fathers and 71.4% for non-fathers.   5.3 Where Children Live When street-involved youth were asked where their children live, various settings were reported (See Table 5.2).  Cross tabs were used to determine percentages of where children were currently living. Most street-involved fathers reported that their child or children currently live with relatives or friends (52.8%) followed by living with them (19.4%).  Table 5.2 Where chid/ren live Where do your child/ren live?   Fathers  (n) 38 live with relatives or friends  (%)  52.8 live with me  (%) 19.4 live in foster care (%) 16.7 adopted (%) 13.9  26 5.4 Ethnic Background Street-involved youth were asked if they were born in Canada, the amount of time they have lived in Canada, and about their ethnic backgrounds. There were no differences in being born in Canada between fathers and non-fathers.   Street-involved youth were asked to report their ethnic background and youth were provided with the opportunity to choose more than one answer. Chi squared tests were used to test whether there were differences in ethnic background between fathers and non-fathers. The most commonly reported ethnic background reported was Aboriginal followed by European ethnic identity. No differences were found in self-identified ethnicity. Due to the small numbers of fathers within each ethnic background, frequencies and percentages were not reported in order to protect fathers from being identified. 5.5 Experience on the Street  Participants reported the age at which they became street-involved as well as their current living circumstances. For street-involved non-fathers, the mean age of first becoming street involved was 12.8 years. Street-involved fathers were more likely to be younger when first street-involved than street-involved non-fathers (t(42.69)=2.14, p=.016; Cohen?s D=.399).  Approximately 32.4% of street-involved fathers were 11 or 12 years of age when they become first street-involved. The most frequently reported (27%) age of first street-involvement for street-involved fathers was less than nine years of age. 5.5.1 Housing Situations and Community  Table 5.3 provides percentages and results of chi square tests for the living conditions of fathers and non-fathers. In some circumstances Fishers exact test was used instead of chi squares because of the low expected count of the crosstab calculations. Cramers Phi was used  27 to help determine the statistical impact of father and non-father differences by displaying the magnitude of the difference. Cell sizes less than five were suppressed and non-releasable.  Street-involved fathers reported some differences in where they were living in comparison to non-fathers. Street-involved fathers were less likely to report living with parents than street-involved non-fathers but fathers were more likely to be living in transitional housing than non-fathers. Precarious housing conditions such as living on the street and living in a tent were more frequently reported among fathers than non-fathers. There were no differences in living with siblings or relatives and no differences in living in group homes or safe houses and shelters.  Table 5.3 Living circumstances   All males Fathers Non Fathers ?2 p Fishers  Phi  (N=367) (n=38) (n=314)     Living Circumstances (Last 30days)        House% 56.1 65.8 55.7 ns .237 - .063 Hotel % 34.3 23.7 13.4 ns .088  .091 With Parents% 46.6 23.7 50.6 9.87  .002  .168 Other Relatives% 15.8 21.1 15.0 ns .329 - .052 Transition House% 5.7 36.8 21.3 4.60 .032 - .114 Squat% 25.6 18.4 9.6 ns - .098 .090 On the Street% 21.0 36.8 19.1 6.42  .011  .135 Abandoned building% 10.6 15.8 10.2 ns  .275 .056 No where/Couch Surfing% 18.3 23.7 18.2 ns - .409 .044 Tent% 10.9 26.3 8.6 -  - .003 .179 Car% 8.7 15.8 7.6 ns - .116 .091   Youth were asked to report if they had left their home community and the reasons they left. Options included to access services, left to be with someone, from safety, for work or work prospects. No significant differences were found between street-involved fathers and non-fathers.  28 5.5.2 Physical and Emotional Issues Street-involved youth were asked to report if they had ever been told they have a physical disability or emotional problem. Only one difference between fathers and non-fathers was found based on a Fisher exact test. Street-involved fathers were more likely to report they have been told that they have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) than street-involved non-fathers (18.9% vs. 6.6%; exact test, p=.018, phi=.145). 5.5.3 School attendance and Future Anticipation  School attendance, employment, and anticipation of a positive future represent possible turning-point opportunities for street-involved young fathers. Street-involved youth were asked to report whether they were currently attending a school or an alternative school (See table 5.4). The item for currently attending school provided two response categories: attending public school or attending alternative school. The categories of currently attending school and attending alternative school were recoded into one category of current school attendance. The recoded school attendance response was dichotomized as yes or no. Street-involved fathers were less likely to be currently attending school than non-fathers. A second separate item asked if street-involved youth have started school this year. Street-involved fathers were less likely to have started school this year than non-fathers.  5.5.4 Future Anticipation    Street-involved youth were asked to report on where they see themselves in five years (See table 5.4). Street-involved fathers were more likely than non-fathers to report that they see themselves as dead in five years.      29 Table 5.4 School and future anticipation  All males Fathers Non Fathers ?2 p phi School  (N=367) (n=38) (n=314)    Started school (%) 52.9 26.3 57.9 13.60  .000 .192 School Number (n) 336 29 297    Currently attending school (%) 52.3 37.9 60.3 5.42  .020 .154 Future Anticipation  (N=367) (n=38) (n=314)    Have a job (%) 49.6 47.4 50.6 ns .703 .020 Prison (%) 8.7 15.8 8.0 ns .125 .086 Dead (%) 11.2 31.6 9.2 16.44  .000 .216 Home of their own (%) 27.8 26.3 29.3 ns .702 .021 Have a family (%) 17.7 26.3 17.5 ns .187 .070 Don't know about future (%) 15.0 13.2 15.6 ns .693 .021  5.5.5 Obtaining Money  Street-involved youth reported whether they obtained money in the last 30 days and how they obtained the money. Street-involved fathers were more likely to obtain money from child welfare as a ward of the state than street-involved youth who were not fathers (13.9% vs. 2.7%; ?2 (1, 332) =10.66, p=.001; phi=.179). Further, street-involved fathers were more likely to obtain money from welfare or income assistance than non-fathers (19.5% vs. 9.5%; ?2 (1, 332) =4.19, p=.041; phi=.106). Street-involved non-fathers were more likely to obtain money from parents than street-involved fathers (37.2% vs. 19.4%; ?2 (1, 332) =4.42, p=.036; phi=.115). Youth were asked to report if they worked in a legal job and how many hours they worked in the past 30 days. Hours of work in the past 30 days were recoded into either worked any number of hours or not worked at all. The recoding was to determine if there was any difference in working or not working any amount of hours. Street-involved fathers were more likely to report working some hours at a legal job in the last 30 days than street-involved non-fathers (58.8% vs. 40.7%; ?2 (1, 280) =4.03, p=.045; phi=.120).   30 5.6 Alcohol and Drug Use Street-involved youth were asked to report alcohol and marijuana use in the last 30 days as well as whether they used any substances yesterday. Chi square tests comparing alcohol and marijuana use between street-involved fathers and non-fathers revealed no group differences for alcohol or marijuana use.  5.6.1 Other Hard Drugs Street-involved youth were also asked to report their use of drugs other than marijuana and alcohol in the last 30 days. Street-involved youth were also asked to report any drug used yesterday. The categories of drug use ?in last 30 days? and ?used yesterday? was included in one variable item to be accurate. Chi square tests and Fishers exact tests were used to determine differences between fathers and non-fathers (See Table 5.5). In circumstances where more than 20% of the cell had an expected count of less than five the Fishers Exact test was used. Street-involved fathers were more likely to be using a number of hard drugs than non-fathers except for ecstasy, mushrooms, prescription pills and other drugs. The highest reported percentage of hard drug use among fathers was ketamine in the last 30 days followed by GHB and crystal meth. Fathers were also more likely to be using inhalants than non-fathers.         31 Table 5.5 Hard drug use in last 30 days Drug use in last 30 days  All males Fathers Non Fathers ?2  p Fishers Exact phi  (N=367) (n=38) (n=314)     Cocaine  (%) 21.5 34.2 20.1 4.00  .045 - .192 Hallucigen 15.8 28.9 13.7 6.07 .014 - .154 Ecstasy (%) 21.8 31.6 20.4 ns .113 - .084 Mushrooms (%) 23.7 26.3 23.6 ns .707 - .0200 Crystal Meth (%) 12.0 26.3 10.2 8.39 .004  .154 Other Meth (%) 10.9 26.3 9.2  - .004 .169 GHB (%) 6.0 21.1 4.1 - - .001 .222 Ketamine (%) 10.1 31.6 7.3 - - .000 .253 Heroine (%) 8.7 31.6 7.3 - - .011 .150 Needles (%) 8.4 21.1 6.7 - - .007 .162 Steroids (%) 5.4 13.2 4.5 - - .042 .114 Pills (%) 9.9 18.4 8.6 ns - .058 .103  5.7 Connection to Treatment Street-involved youth were asked whether they had ever been connected to treatment, such as detox and addiction treatment centres as well as their current desire to be connected (See Table 5.6). Chi square and Fishers Exact test statistics were used to determine differences between fathers and non-fathers. Street-involved fathers were less likely to have never used treatment than street-involved non-fathers. Generally there were no differences between street-involved fathers and street-involved non-fathers in many areas of connection to treatment. However, street-involved fathers were more likely to have ever used detox or a treatment centre for drugs or alcohol. No differences were found on the desire to be currently connected to treatment options. Table 5.6 Connection to treatment  Treatment Service Use  All males Fathers Non Fathers ?2 p  Fishers phi  (N=314) (n=37) (n=277)  -   Never used treatment (%) 65.1 56.8 76.2 6.37  .012  .143 Ever received detox  (%) 9.8 24.3 9.0 -  - .010 .159 Ever received outpatient treatment (%) 12.0 13.5 13.4 ns  - 1.000 - Ever received treatment centre (%) 7.1 16.2 6.5 -  - .048 .118 Interest in receiving services? (n)  35 273     No interest in treatment 75.2 80.0 87.9 ns - - --  32  5.7.1 Controlling for Age on Selected Differences between Fathers and Non-fathers Street-involved fathers were almost a year older than street-involved youth who were not fathers.  This age difference may contribute to some of the findings which reveal distinctions in select characteristics or life circumstances between fathers and non-fathers. Logistic regression techniques were used to conduct a series of comparisons between the two groups while controlling for age. Non-fathers were coded as the reference group.  The dependent variables for the series of four logistic regressions were: living circumstances (living with parents in last 30 days), future anticipation, having started school in the past year, and school attendance in the past year.  The first logistic regression was conducted with fatherhood status predicting living with parents in the last thirty days.  Age was entered on the first step as the control variable.  Being a father or non-father was entered on the second step as the predictor. A test of the full model against a constant only model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictors (age and fatherhood status) reliably distinguished between living with or not living with parents in last thirty days (?2 (df=2) = 16.035, p < .000). The Wald criterion demonstrated that both age (p=.012) and fatherhood status (p=.012) made a significant contribution to the prediction. The adjusted odds ratio for age (.828) indicates that for every one year increase in age, youth were 17.2% less likely to be living with their parents in the last thirty days.  The adjusted odds ratio for fatherhood status (.360), with non-father as the reference category, indicated that fathers were 64% less likely to be living with parents in the last thirty days. Thus, results demonstrate that both age and fatherhood status contributed to likelihood of living with parents in the last thirty days.  The next logistic regression analysis was conducted to predict youths? bleak outlook using age and fatherhood status as predictors. A test of the full model against a constant only  33 model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictors, as a set, reliably distinguished between a bleak and non-bleak outlook (?2 (df=2) = 13.01, p < .000). The Wald criterion revealed that only being a father or not (p=.000) made a significant contribution to prediction. The adjusted odds ratio (4.37) indicates that street-involved youth were fathers were almost four and half times more likely to who have a bleak outlook than street-involved youth who were not fathers. Age was not a significant  predictor of a bleak future outlook.  Another finding that may be influenced by age was non-fathers were more likely to have started school and were more likely to be currently attending school. A third logistic regression analysis was conducted to predict whether or not youth had started school this year, using fatherhood status as a predictor and controlling for age.  A test of the full model against a constant only model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictors, as a set, reliably distinguished between starting school or not (?2 (df=2) = 62.49, p < .000). The Wald criterion demonstrated that both age (p=.000) and fatherhood status (p=.022) made a significant contribution to predicting whether youth had started school in the past academic year. The adjusted odds ratio for age (.557) and fatherhood status (non-fathers as the reference category) (.391) suggest that both age and being a non-father contributed to having started school in the past year. For every one year increase in age, youth were 44% less likely to have started school in the past academic year. Fathers were 60.9% less likely to have started school than non-fathers. The final logistic regression used fatherhood status and age to predict whether youth were currently attending school. A test of the full model against a constant only model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictors, as a set, reliably distinguished between having started school or not (?2 (df=2) = 39.09, p < .000). However, the Wald criterion demonstrated that only age (p=.000) made a significant contribution to prediction of  34 currently attending school. Being a father or non-father did not play a role in whether street-involved youth were currently attending school. The adjusted odds ratio for age (.639) suggests that for every one year increase in age, youth were 36.1% less likely to be currently attending school when the data were collected.   5.8 Groups Within Fathers  As noted above, street-involved fathers were more likely than non-fathers to report that they have been told they had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Second, almost 20% of fathers reported that children currently live with them. Chi square and Fishers exact test statistics were used to determine differences between groups of fathers. Further, for this section of within-father comparisons, a p value of .10 was used to test significance. This was chosen because of the small sample and power issues of expected counts of the chi square tests. A caveat, frequencies and percentages of the within father comparisons were not reported in table form in this section, because the cell sizes were not releasable based on McCreary Centre Society policy. A second caveat was also needed: due to the small number of participants in these groups, the findings in this section may not be statistically robust, therefore results should be interpreted with caution. 5.8.1 Street-involved Fathers who Reported Fetal Alcohol Syndrome  Fathers who report having been told they have FAS (n=7) were compared to other fathers who did not report that they had been told they have FAS. This comparison was to see if FAS, which can be characterized by impulsive decision-making and impaired ability to see future consequences, influenced factors such as future outlook, suicide attempts and interest in detox services. To further explore the mental health of the street-involved fathers who reported being told they had FAS, analyses were conducted with items assessing concerns such as suicide, Post Traumatic Street Disorder (PTSD), future anticipation of being dead in  35 five years, and hard drug use. No differences were found between fathers who had been told they have FAS and fathers who had not been told they have FAS.  It is again important to note that the number of participants for the analysis was small, thus the issue of power must be considered in interpreting these findings.  5.8.2 Fathers who Report Children Live with Them Some fathers in the study reported that children currently live with them (19.4%). This was a surprisingly high percentage, and fathers who have children who live with them may possibly experience fatherhood differently than other fathers. For example, fathers with children who live with them may move towards turning-point opportunities in the best interest of the child through employment, attending school and less drug use because the child was physically with them. Also, having to be a parent may influence strategies to obtain money differently because of the immediate need of the child or children. Fishers exact test statistics and Cramer?s Phi were used to examine differences and effect sizes between street-involved fathers who reported their children lived with them and street-involved fathers who reported their children did not currently live with them. Fisher Exact test statistics were conducted on potential turning point opportunities and background circumstances of the street-involved fathers.  Fathers who reported their children live with them were less likely to report precarious housing in the last 30 days compared fathers whose children did not live with them (exact test p=.074; phi=.354). Differences were also found in obtaining money. Fathers who reported their children lived with them were more likely to obtain money from theft (exact test p=.031; phi=422) and other illegal activities (exact test, p=.053; phi=.393) than fathers whose children did not currently live with them. Fathers who reported their children  36 lived with them were more likely to report starting school than fathers whose children were not living with them (exact test, p=.030; phi=.419).  5.9 Results of Qualitative Analysis To address the research question ?Is being a father meaningful?? for street-involved youth, responses to two open-ended questions were analyzed.  The two items were ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? The purpose of analyzing the responses to these questions was to triangulate the quantitative results of street-involved fathers and non-fathers. The specific purpose was to determine if fatherhood was meaningful for the street-involved youth.  A series of steps were undertaken following a summative content analysis approach (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005). First, responses to the open-ended items were organized into an Excel file. Filters were used to ensure only the young men?s, and not young women?s open-ended items were included in the file. Next, a broad pass through the data by the researcher provided the first codes. The codes were based on categories that were easily distinguishable during the scanning of the data, such as a code focused on friends or drug use (See table 5.7 for codes).  Table 5.7 General codes for open-ended items What do you like best about your life?  What makes you happy?   1. Family 1. Family 2. Friends 2. Friends 3. Girlfriend 3. Girlfriend 4. Children  4. Children 5. Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes 5. Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes 6. Personal/Achievement  6. Personal/Achievement 7. Freedom/Travelling 7. Freedom/Travelling 8. Work/School 8. Work/School 9. Money/spending 9. Hobbies/Sport 10. Sex/girls  10. Sex/girls       11.  Don't know  11. Pets  12. Other   13. Don't know/Nothing  14. Other    37 However, some codes required further distinction. For example, the definition for personal/achievement and freedom/travelling needed to be more precise and clear before further coding. Personal/achievement was defined as ?youth providing any type of compliment to themselves, such as looks, less drug use, positive outlook, or a particular skill?. The basis of this code was a self-acknowledged strength mentioned by the youth. Another, example was the code for ?freedom/travelling? defined as comments centred on ?being able to do what you want, and/or travelling to different places. The codes of ?work/school? and ?money/spending? were separated into different codes because it was not clear whether the youth was obtaining money, or wanted to obtain money, or obtaining money from a legal job. Unless it was clear that the open-ended item was about a job, it was placed into the ?money/spending? code. The code for ?sex/girls? focused on ?being with girls?, ?having sex with girls? or ?looking at girls?. The code for ?hobbies/sports? included sports such as skateboarding, biking, snowboarding and hobbies such as playing music, drawing and videogames for street-involved youth. Finally, the code ?family? included any reference to the word ?family? as well as any indication of other family members such as ?mom?, ?brother?, or ?sister?. Table 5.8 and 5.9 provide examples of the open-ended items.  Table 5.8 Responses ?What makes you happy?? What makes you happy? Example responses  Hobbies/Sport Skate boarding, snowboarding, drawing; playing pool and chess Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Weed and alcohol; Smoking weed; Booze  Other Bitch fuck you! Friends Being with my friends; friends,  Family Hanging out with family; When I?m out with my baby sister Sex/Girls Chicks; Sex; Girls; Girls and money; pussy; having sex; hoes Girlfriend  Being with my girlfriend; having a girlfriend; Being with my GF Work/School Working construction; school;  Personal/Achievement Completing my goals; seeing people happy and warm on the inside; spending time with myself Money Money  My children Being with my little daughter  Don't know Dunno; Nothing; I do not know  Pets My pet mice;  Freedom/travelling  Hoppin trains; freedom to do what I want  38  Table 5.9 Responses ?What do you like best about your life?? What do you like best about your life? Code examples Other Religion, culture; where I live Friends My five friends; friends Personal/Achievement I?m content; I feel free to enjoy life; I?m calm and cool Family Got a big family; my mom; Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Drugs; weed; crack addiction, acid Freedom/Travelling  My freedom; Bein? free; freedom; traveling meeting people Girlfriend My girlfriend; being with my GF Don't know/Nothing  Dunno Work/School Going to school; I have a good job doing good in school Everything Everything My children  My baby; having a child MoneySpending  Making money; $$$$$ money  Sex/Girls Sex; pussy; ass; porn   The next step in the coding process involved entering the codes for each participant into a spreadsheet. The entry of the codes was set up so that the raters were blinded from knowing which group the youth belonged to, fathers or non-fathers. Only those participants who indicated that they have children may have provided a clue to the youths? fatherhood status. Many street-involved youth would answer the open-ended items with answers that could be coded into more than one category. Therefore multiple codes were possible for each individual youth.  The coding process was done by the author of the thesis and by a research assistant independently with codes entered into separate spreadsheets. Both the researcher and the research assistant coded all cases for the open-ended items. After the independent coding occurred both spreadsheets were placed together to compare the reliability of the coding. Inter-reliability analysis was performed using Cohen?s Kappa to test the agreement between the sets of codes generated by the researcher and assistant. Acceptable Kappa scores for inter-rater agreement on categories were found using guidelines described by Landis and Koch (1977). The inter-rater reliability for coded responses to the item ?What do you like  39 best about your life?? was .950 and the inter rater reliability for coded responses to the question ?What makes you happy?? was .900. Table 5.10 displays the open-ended broad codes for ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life??. Codes are listed by decreasing order of frequency.  Note the ?other? categories were used to code responses that did not fit the broad codes in the first sweep of analysis. For the item, ?What make you happy?? the ?other? code was the third highest frequency count. Conversely, for the item ?What do you like best about your life?? the ?other? code had the highest frequency. Because the ?other? code had a high frequency another series of analysis was conducted to decompose the ?other? code. The recoding followed the same procedure as the first coding by re-reviewing individual responses that were coded ?other?.   Table 5.10 Open-ended code responses What makes you happy? What do you like best about your life? Hobbies/Sport Other Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Friends Other Personal/Achievement Friends Family Family Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Sex/Girls Freedom/Travelling  Girlfriend  Girlfriend Work/School Don't know/Nothing  Personal/Achievement Work/School Money Everything My children My children  Don't know Money/Spending  Pets Sex/Girls Freedom/Travelling      The re-coding of the ?other? code consisted of two steps. First, some of the items in the ?other? code were recoded into new code categories based on similarities in the answers provided by youth (See table 5.11). For the item ?What makes you happy?? the following  40 codes were added ?food?, ?positive sayings?, ?everything and stuff?, and ?things and objects?. For ?What do you like best about your life??, ?negative outlook? and ?pets? was added. An additional step was included to broaden the definition of the existing codes to encompass similar ideas. For example the code for ?freedom/travelling? was broadened to include ?hanging out? because it reflects a similar situation. The ?personal/achievement? code was broadened to include any other positive elements that reflected a personal strength.   Open-ended codes are displayed in decreasing frequency in Table 5.11 for ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? for all young men in the study. The three most frequent responses for ?What makes you happy?? for street-involved youth were ?hobbies/sport?, ?alcohol/drugs/smokes? and ?friends?. The three most frequent codes for ?What do you like best about your life?? were ?personal/achievement?, ?friends?, and ?family?.   Table 5.11 Recoded open-ended responses What makes you happy?  What do you like best about your life?  Hobbies/Sport Personal/Achievement  Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Friends Friends Family Family Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Sex/Girls  Freedom/Travelling/Hanging out  Girlfriend  Other Other Girlfriend Personal/Achievement Hobbies/Sport Work/school Don't know/Nothing  Money Work/School Things/Objects Everything Food My children Positive sayings Money/Spending My children Sex/Girls Don't know Pets Everything/stuff Negative outlook Pets  Freedom/Travelling/Hanging out       41 5.9.1 Fathers and Non-fathers  Analyses were conducted to understand if fathers and non-fathers differed in their responses to the questions ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life??  Because of the small number of fathers who reported responses to these two questions, direct comparisons between fathers and non-fathers was difficult. Thirty fathers responded to the question ?What make you happy?? The most frequently reported responses were ?alcohol/drugs/smokes? followed by ?children? and ?hobbies/sport.? Twenty-seven fathers provided responses to the question ?What do you like best about your life?? The three most frequent responses were ?achievement/personal,? ?children? and ?alcohol/drugs/smokes.?  Fathers indicated ?children? in both open-ended items. Another response similar across both items for fathers was ?alcohol/smokes/drugs? which seems to triangulate with the rate of hard drug use found in the quantitative results.  Table 5.12 provides the open-ended codes for the non-fathers. For the item ?What makes you happy?? the top three answers were ?hobbies/sports,? ?alcohol/drugs/smokes,? and ?friends.? For the item ?What do you like best about your life?? the top three responses were ?personal/achievement,? ?friends? and ?family.?           42 Table 5.12 Open-ended codes of non-fathers responses What makes you happy?  What do you like best about your life?  Hobbies/Sport Personal/Achievement  Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Friends Friends Family Family Other Sex/Girls  Freedom/Travelling/Hanging out  Girlfriend  Girlfriend  Other Alcohol/Drugs/Smokes Personal/Achievement Hobbies/Sport Work/School Don't know/Nothing  Money Work/School Things/Objects Everything Food My children Positive sayings Money/Spending My children Sex/Girls Don't know Pets Everything/Stuff Negative outlook Pets  Freedom/Travelling/Hanging out   5.9.2 Fathers and Children  Among fathers some responses indicated that their children make them ?happy? (n=5) or are what the youth like best about their lives (n=7). Table 5.13 provides the complete responses of each father in the study. Checking non-father responses revealed one youth reported ?the thought that I have a child due? in response to ?What do you like best about your life?? and ?I have a child on the way? for the item ?What makes you happy?? Among fathers, two youth reported ?children? for both questions. This overlap in responses reveals that a total of ten fathers (26% of all fathers) reported children made them happy or what they felt was best about their lives.   Table 5.13 Fathers responses about children  What makes you happy? What do you like best about your life? My son, my GF, my family? My family, girlfriend and baby, my jobs Being with my little daughter  Having a child Being with my wife (Common-law) and son.  Me. Kid. Knowing my son is safe and happy  My daughter  Friends, my kids My girlfriend and baby  Waking up in the morning, watching my son grow up   My girlfriend, my baby, family    43 5.9.3 Content Analysis Discussion  The summative content analysis provided a description of what makes street-involved youth happy and what street-involved youth like best about their lives. However, in the original plan of analysis two steps were to be done. First, a summative analysis was planned to generate categories representing the manifest content. The second step was to be the latent content analysis to provide the underlying meaning behind the manifest content. However, after the first step it was determined that a more nuanced latent content analysis was not possible. The answers to the items were mostly one or two words that did not provide enough information to conduct a latent analysis.  The qualitative analysis did provide a description of whether children were meaningful in the fathers? lives. Some fathers emphasized children in their responses to the open-ended items. The qualitative section also triangulated the reported drug use in the quantitative analysis.  44 Chapter  6: Discussion  This thesis stated two purposes. First, to provide an exploratory description of background and situational circumstances of street-involved adolescent fathers in Western Canada, and second to determine if fatherhood could be a potential turning-point opportunity for some street-involved adolescent fathers. The thesis did provide a description of background and situational factors of street-involved fathers that were different than non-fathers. However, the results did not indicate that fatherhood could be a potential turning-point opportunity for most street-involved fathers.  6.1 Street-involved Fathers: Who are they? The life-course perspective helped to describe how fatherhood could fit within a street-involved youth?s transition to adulthood. As noted by Hagan and McCarthy (2005) the youth in this study have experienced similar events and transitions with other youth but they are different in terms of time and place. For street-involved fathers in this study their context is situated within a street lifestyle that has been a part of their lives for, in some cases, a number of years.  For this thesis, the designation of fatherhood was measured with the item, ?Do you have children?? Nine street-involved youth answered ?no? to ?Do you have children?? but also reported a number of places where their child/ren currently live. One explanation might be some youth were reporting that they had children. Thus for some youth declaring fatherhood was about ?having? children and ?had? children. Unfortunately, the analysis cannot determine the circumstances of this potential change from having children to had children.  However, these responses point to the need for research on street-involved youths? understanding of parenthood, and factors related to identifying as a father.  45  Street-involved fathers in this study were almost a year older than non-fathers, and also first became street-involved nearly a year younger than non-fathers. Thus, the street-involved fathers in this study were not only older but had been street-involved longer than non-fathers. This finding points to street-involved fathers potentially being more street-entrenched and so may have more difficulty in exiting street life. Auerswald and Erye (2002) found in their study on street-involved youth in California that youth who were street-involved for a long period of time may need multiple opportunities to completely exit from the street life culture because of the embedded relationships with other street-involved youth who have become their family on the street. For the fathers in this study, exiting and potential turning-point opportunities may be difficult because of the early age and level of entrenchment discussed in Auerswald and Eyre?s (2002) model.   Not only did age and onset of street-involvement differ between fathers and non-fathers, but street-involved fathers were also more likely than non-fathers to report living in precarious housing conditions. One possibility for precarious housing conditions may be barriers to finding more stable housing because street-involved fathers were more likely to be on income assistance or because fathers were more likely to use hard drugs than non-fathers. For example, Krusi et al. (2010) reported that some street-involved youth in Vancouver experienced discrimination when attempting to find non-precarious housing because landlords did not want to rent to youth who were on income assistance. Further, some housing requirements have zero tolerance on drug use, restricting some street-involved youth in Vancouver (Krusi et al., 2010). Rachlis et al. (2009) reported that youth in precarious housing conditions were more likely to be currently using hard drugs, such as cocaine and injected drug use. Consequently some of the precarious housing differences between fathers  46 and non-fathers may be contributed by fathers? background factors, such as drug use and being involved in income assistance programs.  Street-involved youth were also asked to report whether they have been told that they have a chronic illnesses or emotional condition. Street-involved fathers reported being told that they have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) more often than non-fathers. It is important to note that street-involved youth were asked to report whether they have been told they have a list of conditions provided in the survey. It is still possible that many of these youth do have some of the listed conditions but have not been told or in contact with services that could ascertain these conditions or do not recall being told they have a condition. Youth may also have chosen to not disclose conditions as well.  FAS, or what is now Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) could influence a father?s decision-making process. A factor of FASD is impulsive decision-making that may play a role in some fathers? decisions to not use contraception (Streissguth et al, 2004). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may also continue to negatively impact functioning throughout the fathers? life-course. FAS may influence the possibility of acquiring work and also the ability to be in a supportive school environment. How societal institutions such as employment and school view FAS fathers as they transition into adulthood might influence how these institutions assist fathers. For example, youth societal institutions, such as education institutions may view them as a victim of their FAS. However, as street-involved fathers move from adolescence into adulthood, institutional perceptions of youth with FAS can shift from victim status to a deviant status (Dej, 2011). As youth transition into adulthood the deviant status can take the form of continued engagement in criminal activities or drug and substance use that was grounded on personal responsibility and not the responsibility of societal institutions to assist the youth because they have FAS (Dej, 2011).    47 6.2 Hypotheses Discussion One of the research questions in the thesis asked ?Is fatherhood a potential turning-point opportunity?? Hypotheses were derived from the literature review and theoretical framework. The potential opportunity for a turning-point was based on research with homeless young mothers who desired change from a street-lifestyle, including a desire to go to school (King et al., 2009) and the reduction of negative health behaviours, such as a substance use among adolescent fathers (Quinton et al., 2002). Each hypothesis from the thesis is discussed in light of the results.   6.2.1 Hypothesis 2.a: Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to report attending school than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. A potential turning point may include fathers attending school. The results indicated that street-involved fathers were less likely to report currently attending school in comparison to non-fathers. However, when controlling for age this difference in school attendance between fathers and non-fathers disappeared. Differences in non-fathers? reports of starting school this year in comparison to fathers still held when controlling for age. One possible explanation is that fathers were more likely to be working in a legal job than non-fathers instead of going to school.  Fathers with children living with them had different school experiences than fathers with children not living with them. Fathers who reported that their children lived with them were more likely to have started school this year compared to fathers who did not report children living with them. However, starting school this year does not carry over to difference in currently attending school for fathers with children living with them. Thus, while some fathers who live with their children start school they were not able to continue attending school. Research has found that adolescent fathers tend to drop out and not  48 continue school (Deslauriers et al., 2012). Ravanera (2008) reported that young fathers in Canada were more likely to be working than in school (Ravanera, 2008) and young fathers have a desire to work rather than attend school (Weinman et al., 2002). 6.2.2 Hypothesis 2.b: Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to be connected to employment than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. Street-involved fathers were more likely to report working in a legal job in the past 30 days than street-involved non-fathers. This finding does support the hypothesis that street-involved fathers are more likely to be connected to legal employment. Similar rates of reported legal employment by street-involved youth have been found in research in the United States (Gwadz et al., 2009). Additionally, street-involved fathers in this study obtained money from youth in care programs and income assistance programs. Other research has also highlighted the importance of employment for young fathers. Wilkes et al. (2012) reported that making money and gaining employment was the first concern for new adolescent fathers in Australia. The idea of fathers as a ?provider? was an important aspect of how youth view fatherhood based on gaining employment and has been found in other research as well (Lane & Clay, 2000; Weinman et al., 2002).  6.2.3 Hypothesis 2.c: Street-involved adolescent fathers are less likely to engage in alcohol and drug use than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers.  The analysis compared marijuana and alcohol use among street-involved fathers and non-fathers. The use of marijuana and alcohol was a common occurrence for both fathers and non-fathers. The common occurrence of marijuana use has been found not specifically with street-involved fathers, but street-involved youth in Vancouver. Hadland et al. (2012) reported that marijuana use was highly accessible among Vancouver street-involved youth.    49 The ability to access marijuana quickly was different than for street-involved adults who could not access it as readily as street-involved youth.   Some hard drug use, ketamine and GHB, revealed important differences as street-involved fathers used more than non-fathers. Ketamine has a dissociative quality and has become a popular injection drug for youth in North America (Lankenau & Saunders, 2007). GHB is a sedative drug that is known as ?G? and ?liquid X? and is also known as a ?date rape? drug. GHB depresses the central nervous system (Health Canada, 2009) and its popularity has grown in the club culture due to the drug?s ability to elicit a feeling of euphoria (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). The reason why Ketamine and GHB use were more frequent among fathers than non-fathers in this study was difficult to pinpoint. Perhaps the drugs qualities of dissociation and euphoria were important coping strategies for some fathers who would have begun street involvement at an earlier age.  This may reflect something about what they were coping with such as being a father, or the precarious housing situations that were reported by street-involved fathers. 6.2.4 Hypothesis 2.d: Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to use treatment services, such as addictions treatment, than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. The high prevalence of drug use also has another story for street-involved fathers.  It was hypothesized that fathers? connection to treatment was linked to a history of treatment and detox services, as well as a desire to enter treatment. Overall, street-involved fathers were more likely to have ever tried detox and ever tried a treatment centre compared to non-fathers. Further, street-involved youth who were not fathers were less likely to have ever tried treatment. Auserwald and Erye (2002) suggested that street youth and their street lifestyle could be maintained due to beliefs and patterns that reinforce their marginalized  50 position. Having ever tried detox or treatment in any form may have provided a negative experience hindering future possibilities for these youth and maintaining their lack of desire to attempt treatment again. Another possibility was the difficulty some street-involved young people had enrolling in detox and other treatment facilities due to a lack of available resources for youth (Hadland et al., 2012). 6.2.5 Hypothesis 2.e: Street-involved adolescent fathers are more likely to report a positive future than street-involved adolescents who are not fathers. In light of the background circumstances of street-involved youth it is not particularly surprising that street-involved fathers did have a negative future outlook. Street-involved fathers were four and a half times more likely to report that they saw themselves as ?dead? in five years. The early onset of street-involvement and the length of street-involvement might have influenced some fathers? negative outlook in life. The bleak outlook for some fathers may hacve influenced their desire towards potential turning point opportunities because they already saw a lack of future in their lives. For example, fathers in this study who did have a bleak outlook were also less likely to have interest in future treatment than other fathers who did not share this outlook. Thus, a bleak outlook may also play a role in moving towards potential turning point opportunities.  However, in the open-ended items of ?What makes you happy?? and ?What do you like best about your life?? fathers did report positive life circumstances. Fathers reported children, personal/achievements and hobbies/sports that made them happy or as what they liked best about their lives. There were some positive aspects within the ?now? of their lives, but it might be difficult to have an outlook beyond the present for some fathers.    51 6.3 Is Fatherhood Meaningful for Street-involved Young Men?  For this thesis the open-ended items were used to determine if fatherhood was meaningful. Rutter (1996) stated that for a transition in the life-course to occur there has to be opportunity for change and that the opportunity has to be meaningful for the individual. This opportunity for change, by reducing substance use or attending school may reflect some street-involved youth finding fatherhood meaningful. Some street-involved fathers did mention specifically that their children were what made them happy and what they liked best about their lives. However, the content analysis did not provide higher order themes that point to the meaningfulness of fatherhood. After the analysis of these open-ended items it became clear that to provide evidence or counter evidence to the question of whether fatherhood was meaningful to street-involved youth more detailed qualitative work would be needed.  6.4 Within-Fathers Comparisons  Fathers who reported that they see themselves as dead in five years and fathers who reported children lived with them were two surprising results. A comparison of fathers with and without a bleak outlook was done to see if a bleak outlook influenced the ability to move towards a potential turning-point opportunity. Fathers who reported that they saw themselves as dead in five years were less likely to be interested in future treatment. None of the fathers who reported that they see themselves as dead in five years had interest in future treatment. A potential turning-point opportunity needs to have potential for change and it has to be meaningful (Rutter, 1996). For some fathers this bleak outlook may influence how they see the potential change as meaningful and therefore do not pursue potential turning-point opportunities.   52  Street-involved fathers who reported their children lived with them were another group who needed further exploration. Fathers who had children who lived with them could face different situations that influence potential turning-point opportunities than other fathers. On a positive note, fathers whose children lived with them were less likely to report precarious housing in the last 30 days. One possibility is that fathers with children were gaining access to more stable living conditions because of their children. Another possibility is street-involved fathers may not only be with their children, but also with a partner, which may improve access to stable housing conditions. Perhaps barriers to housing may be less if a ?family? is accessing housing services than an individual street-involved father.  No other differences were found in legal employment, however, differences were found in sources of obtaining money. Street-involved fathers whose children lived with them were more likely to be involved in theft and other illegal activities than other street-involved fathers. Perhaps fathers with residential children faced circumstances that compelled them to obtain money from illegal activities to ensure survival. It is likely that employment in a legal job would not provide enough income to support several family members. Baron (2008) and Gwadz et al. (2009) reported that for some street-involved youth, working in legal employment in addition to obtaining money from illegal activities was needed to survive. Baron (2008), found in a study of Canadian young street-involved men, that under-employment, unemployment and criminal behavior in street-involved youth was perpetuated by a sense of loss of control in the ability to support themselves and frustration with government support and anger over their unemployment. This could also be the case for fathers who have children who live with them and obtaining money difficulties could be magnified because of providing for their children.   53 6.5 Potential Turning-points Opportunities for Street-involved Fathers  Description of the backgrounds and current circumstances of street-involved fathers provided little evidence for fatherhood as a potential-turning point opportunity for street-involved youth. As Rutter (1996) noted, turning-point opportunities should be viewed along a continuum of positive and negative circumstances. The continuum of the positive, such as employment, and the negative circumstances such as continued drug use, was apparent in the stories of the street-involved fathers in this study.  Fatherhood as a potential turning-point opportunity for street-involved youth is complex and may also be influenced by timing of fatherhood. For example, Kerr et al. (2011) found that after first fatherhood among young men, crime, substance use, and tobacco use were significantly reduced. However, the age at which young men became fathers may affect the level of change of these risk factors. Fathers in their mid-twenties had a higher rate of change in reducing risky behaviours compared to younger fathers (Kerr et al., 2011). Thus, becoming a father at a younger age had less of an effect in reducing engagement in problematic or health risk behaviours. Kerr et al.?s (2001) study was not able to determine differences in timing of fatherhood among participants, however, fathers in this study were more likely to be older, closer to 17 or 18 years of age than non-fathers. Based on Kerr et al. (2011) this would be considered young.  Additionally, the young men in Kerr et al (2011) study were not street-involved; thus not only was timing of fatherhood and age a factor for determining change, but the circumstances faced by street-involved fathers may be very different.    Auerswald and Erye?s (2003) research pointed to the cycle of exiting and re-entering the street-involved lifestyle. The authors pointed to the difficulty in exiting street-life and the need to engage youth who were in transition or crisis as a key point to assist in exiting street  54 life. This thesis provided little evidence of fatherhood as a potential turning-point opportunity that may be a transition or crisis for these youth. However, for some street-involved fathers in this study, it may be less cyclical and more of a non-linear and haphazard process of change. Karabanow (2008) reported in a study with Canadian street-involved youth that on average youth made six attempts to exit before the exit was successful. Further, Karabanow (2008) reported on the importance of motivation to change in the desire to exit street life. For some street-involved youth this motivation occurs in conjunction with new responsibilities in youths? lives, such as an intimate partner or parenthood. Perhaps, for some of the street-involved youth fathers in this study, multiple attempts towards potential turning-point opportunities are needed.   6.6 Limitations  This research provided a description of street-involved fathers in communities in Western Canada. The first limitation was the use of a cross-sectional dataset to help determine the timing of turning-point events. The use of a longitudinal dataset would add strength to determining the order of certain events, such as when fatherhood occurred.  Documented ordering of events would assist in determining potential turning point opportunities. For this thesis the focus of the research question was on the potential for a turning-point and not whether it was a turning point.  Another, limitation was knowledge of when street-involved fathers ever tried drug or alcohol treatment. Again, it was not known when fathers have ever tried drug treatment or detox facilities. We do not know if the fathers have ever-tried these services before or after fatherhood. The knowledge of when drug and detox programs were used, either before or after fatherhood, may be able to pinpoint whether this can be a potential turning-point  55 opportunity for fathers. For example, if drug and detox programs were ever-tried after fatherhood this may suggest fatherhood as a potential turning-point.  Finally, this research also was limited because it was not known how many street-involved fathers had already successfully exited street lifestyle. Because the dataset was focused on street-involved youth, youth who were able to successfully exit, such as street-involved fathers, would not be included in the study.    6.7 Future Research   No research literature focused on street-involved fathers was found for this study and only one study was found concerning street-involved parents (Slesnick et al., 2006) that focused on risk factors, such as HIV risk and not on the background of the youth. This thesis did expand the limited research on street-involved parents by providing an exploratory description of street-involved fathers, but it also highlighted the need for further research. For example, the thesis was not able to describe relationships, or the lack of relationships with father?s partners and how this plays a role in their lives. Perhaps, connection to a partner who also desires change was a factor for these fathers.  A surprise finding was nearly twenty percent of fathers reported that children live with them. This group of fathers appeared to have more stable living circumstances, but also participated in theft and illegal activities more than fathers who did not report children living with them. The presence of a child in their lives may play a role in how they experience fatherhood because of the concreteness of having a child with them in everyday life in comparison to fathers without children living with them. Forste et al. (2009) in a study with low-income fathers in the US reported the importance of being present with their children as an important aspect of their fatherhood. Further research into understanding how street-involved fathers experience being with their children may gain more insight into whether the  56 concreteness of fatherhood influences the desire to pursue turning-point opportunities. Further, if the fathers were parenting with a partner this study was unable to describe the partner relationship. This may be particularly pertinent as some street-involved youth place growing importance of their intimate partners as they move forward into emerging adulthood and exit street involved lifestyle (Wenzel et al., 2012).   The social construction of fatherhood for street-involved youth is another source for future research. What are the circumstances and situations that impact whether a street-involved youth declares fatherhood or not? Further research could focus on when and under what circumstances is it important that the declaration of fatherhood is made.     A number of fathers reported specifically that their children made them happy and that children were what they like best about their lives. Three out of the seven fathers who reported children living with them directly mentioned their children were what made them happy and what they liked best about their lives. It seems on the surface that what was important is the declaration of fatherhood and the meaning of fatherhood to the youth. Because this thesis was not able to ascertain whether fatherhood was meaningful, further research is needed to under what circumstances of fatherhood is meaningful for street-involved youth. Is it important that they are in contact with their children, are they living with them or is just knowing that they have a child somewhere enough to provide a turning-point opportunity for the youth? 6.8 Social Work implications  Street-involved youth are a heterogeneous group where a single approach to intervention and prevention was inappropriate and possibly ineffective (Kelly & Caputo, 2007). This thesis did not provide definitive evidence of fatherhood as a potential turning- 57 point opportunity however street-involved fathers were another example of the heterogeneity of street-involved youth that social workers may face.  The description of street-involved fathers? emerging from this study can assist in understanding the heterogeneity of street-involved youth. While possibly not in school, the fathers may be in legal employment in addition to receiving income assistance. Deslauriers et al. (2012) reported in a study of Canadian adolescent fathers in BC and Ontario that they wanted father-centred services that focused on employment but their level of schooling was affecting their ability to get employment at a decent income. For the fathers in this study a more ?father-centered? school environment similar to one that adolescent mothers may be enrolled in may help their employment situation (Deslauriers et al., 2012). The evidence in this thesis did not point to development of new programs or even change in current programing for street-involved fathers. However, from the results social workers can anticipate the background and circumstances of the street-involved fathers that may assist in their direction of practice with the youth. Karabanow (2008) reported in a study of Canadian street-involved youth that it is difficult for youth to pinpoint their decision or to explain the process of exiting street-involved lifestyle other than they were ?finally prepared?. 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